Three Cleveland missing women speak out for the first time - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Cleveland women held captive speak out publicly for the first time

Amanda Berry Amanda Berry
Gina DeJesus Gina DeJesus
Michelle Knight Michelle Knight

For the first time since being rescued from captivity, Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus are speaking out in a video message to the public.

Hennes Paynter Communications posted the video of the women at midnight on July 9. The firm tells 19 Action News the video was at the request of the women to say thank you for the outpouring of support since their May 6 rescue from a house on Cleveland's Seymour Avenue.

Knight, Berry and DeJesus all went missing a decade ago.

Knight disappeared in 2002.  She was 21.

Berry, 16 at the time, went missing in 2003 after she left work at Burger King.

DeJesus disappeared in 2004, while walking home from school. She was 14-years-old.

According to the statement released early Tuesday morning, "People are recognizing them now as they go about in public, so they decided to put voices and faces to their heartfelt messages," said Kathy Joseph, attorney for Michelle Knight.

The statement goes on to say it was their decision to relay their thanks in this way.

The women are still asking for their privacy during this time. "They do not want to talk about their ordeal with the media or anyone else. This cannot be stated strongly enough.  We thank everyone for the privacy and courtesy shown to Amanda, Gina and Michelle over the last few months and ask that this continue," said James Wooley, attorney for Berry and DeJesus. 

The man accused in the rape and kidnapping of the three women, Ariel Castro is in jail.  He's facing nearly 330 charges.

Castro's trial is set for August 5.

Amanda Berry

April 21, 2003 - 16-year-old Amanda Berry goes missing. It was the day before her 17th birthday.  She had just left her part-time job at the Burger King at West 110th and Lorain.

November 2004 - A television psychic tells Amanda's mom, Louwana Miller she'll never see her daughter alive again.

September 2006 - Amanda Berry's mom died. Some say she died of a broken heart.

July 2012 - FBI received a tip from an inmate at Lucasville Prison, claiming he killed Amanda and buried her body in a field at West 30th and Wade Ave, not far from the house on Seymour.

Gina DeJesus

April 2004 - 14-year-old Gina DeJesus disappeared as she walked home from Wilbur Wright Middle School.  Gina was last seen in the area of West 105th Street and Lorain Avenue. 

September 2006 - Cleveland police dug up a garage on the west side.  They found nothing that would lead them to Gina DeJesus. 

2007 - Age progression photo released of Gina.

April 2010 - A prayer march in Cleveland for Gina DeJesus who disappeared six years ago April 2nd. Her family and friends gathered to re-trace her steps from the last place she was seen.

July 2010 - Gina's parents joined forces with the Williamsport, PA Crosscutters.  Gina's picture appeared on the baseball team's photo, given out to fans.

April 2012 - Monday night family, friends and activists gathered for a vigil at W. 105th and Lorain -- the same spot the 14-year old was last seen.

Michelle Knight

August 22, 2002 - Michelle Knight disappeared. She was 21 years old.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight

May 6, 2013 - Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight found safe in a home on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland.

After the women were found:

May 7, 2013 - In a touching moment, Reporter Bill Safos kept his promise to Amanda Berry's mother and wore the shirt and tie she asked him to wear "when Mandy comes home."

For the first time, we heard from the family of Michelle Knight.

May 8, 2013 - Around 11:30 a.m., Amanda Berry returned home.

Around 2:45 p.m., Gina DeJesus returned home.

Ed Gallek shot exclusive video of suspect Ariel Castro in the Justice Center.

19 Action News uncovers a chilling letter written by Castro.

Wednesday night, charges were filed against Castro.

May 9, 2013 - Cuyahoga Count Prosecutor Tim McGinty announces in press conference that he will seek every charge possible, including murder charges for the fetuses that were killed.

May 10, 2013 - DNA results come back for Amanda's daughter, Ariel Castro is the father.

Michelle Knight is released from MetroHealth Medical Center.

Copyright 2013 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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