Three young women who have been missing for roughly a decade have been found alive in a house in Cleveland. Police say they have made three arrests linked to the incident.
The three women were released from hospital police said Tuesday, a day after the dramatic discovery was made in a residential area of Cleveland, Ohio.
Neighbor Charles Ramsey told news broadcasters CNN and ABC that he had seen the arm of one of the women waving from a crack in the door. Ramsey said he heard screaming from one of the women, Berry, who was "going nuts trying to get outside of the house."
"I go on the porch, and she said 'Help me get out. I've been here a long time,'" said Ramsey, who had kicked open the bottom of the door so that Berry could crawl through.
Berry then telephoned the police from a neighboring home. "I'm Amanda Berry. I've been kidnapped," said the recorded emergency call. "I've been missing for 10 years. I'm free. I'm here now."
'The nightmare is over'
Berry was 16-years-old when she was last seen on April 21, 2003, after leaving work at a fast food restaurant. DeJesus was aged 14 when she vanished on the way home from school on April 2, 2004. Knight was 21 when she went missing, having last been seen at a cousin's house on August 23, 2002.
Police said all three are in good health and had been reunited with relatives.
"For Amanda's family, for Gina's family, for Michele's family, prayers have finally been answered," FBI special agent Steve Anthony told a press conference on Tuesday.
"The nightmare is over. These three young ladies have provided us with the ultimate definition of survival and perseverance. The healing can now begin," Anthony said.
Officers said three brothers, reported to be aged between 50 and 54, had been arrested. No charges have yet been filed and according to police chief Michael McGrath it may take several days for details to be released on how the women were kidnapped and held.
ccp, rc/mz (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)