Screams to neighbour helped free US women

2013-05-07 10:00
Amanda Berry (C) reunited with her sister (L). The child was rescued from the house along with the three women. (WOIO/ AFP)

Amanda Berry (C) reunited with her sister (L). The child was rescued from the house along with the three women. (WOIO/ AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Amanda Berry's 911 call

2013-05-07 10:16

Three women who were missing for ten years were found locked in a house in Cleveland. Listen to their desperate 911 call and see pictures from their rescue here.VIEW

Washington - Two women who disappeared as teenagers and were given up for dead, and a third who was 20 when abducted, were rescued on Monday from a Cleveland, Ohio, neighbourhood after one of them escaped with the help of a neighbour.

Amanda Berry, who was 16 when she disappeared in 2003 on her way home from her job at a fast-food restaurant, managed to alert police while her captor, a 52-year-old man, was out of the house.

"I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm here, I'm free now," she said in an urgent voice to the 911 emergency operator, according to a recording released by police.

Anxious over the questions from the operator about what clothes her captor was wearing, she shouted, in frustration: "I don't know because he's not here right now and that's how I got away."

When the operator said police would be on their way as soon as a car was available, she cried with impatience and fear: "I need them now before he gets back!"

Three brothers have been arrested, including Ariel Castro, aged 52, the man who owned the house, said Ed Tomba, Cleveland's deputy police chief chief. The other brothers were 50 and 54 years old. The FBI - federal police - were searching the house, Tomba said.

Cases kept alive

According to news reports, Berry's captor also held Gina DeJesus, who disappeared at age 14 in 2004, and Michelle Knight, who disappeared in 2000 at age 20. Police freed the other two women when they raided the house, the reports said.

The women were allegedly held in an ordinary wood-frame house in a Hispanic neighbourhood of the northern Ohio city, less than a kilometre from where the families of Berry and DeJesus lived. Little was reported about Knight.

Vigils, photos, posters and regular local media coverage kept alive the cases of Berry and DeJesus in the public mind, so that when Berry grabbed the opportunity to yell for help, a neighbour responded.

Just last month, a local television station had done a 10-year-missing story about Berry. And two weeks ago, the families held a vigil in the neighbourhood, according to Cleveland City Council member Brian Cummins in an interview broadcast on CNN.

Charles Ramsey, who lived next door to the house, described how he had been eating his McDonald's lunch when he heard Berry's screams and saw her arm waving through a crack in the door. She was "going nuts trying to get outside", Ramsey told ABC NewsNet 5 in Cleveland.

He rushed to the front porch, but the door was barred, so he kicked it in. When Berry finally emerged, there was a child with her, Ramsey said. He placed the call to 911, saying he was calling on behalf of Amanda Berry - then paused to tell the operator: "I thought she was dead."


Neighbours said they never noticed anything amiss in the house. Ramsey said there was "not a clue that there was anybody else in the house" when he shared backyard picnics with the captor. "I barbecued with the dude," Ramsey said.

After the rescue, her brother-in-law confirmed in an interview with 19 ActionNews that Berry had had a child while in captivity, and the family was looking forward to meeting her. A photo taken in the Metro Health hospital, where the four victims were taken, showed two adult women and a child, laughing and hugging each other.

Dr Gerald Maloney, an emergency room physician at Metro Health, told reporters that they all appeared to be "in fair condition" at the moment.

"This isn't the ending we usually hear to these stories, so we're very happy for them," Maloney said.

Celebrations broke out across the Ohio city over the news of the rescue.

Speaking candidly, Ramsey said in the interview that has since become an internet hit that Berry's reaction to him also raised a red flag.

"Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway. Either she homeless or she got problems. That’s the only reason she runs to a black man."

Read more on:    gina dejesus  |  amanda berry  |  michelle knight  |  us  |  cleveland kidnappings  |  abductions

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.