More details are emerging of the incredible story of three women who have been rescued from a house in Cleveland, Ohio, where they apparently have been held captive since they all disappeared a decade ago. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michele Knight have been found alive after a neighbor kicked the door in at a home where the three women had been held captive for years. One of the most astonishing details from this entire crazy story is that reportedly Amanda had given birth while in captivity, and her daughter is now 6 years old.
Ariel Castro, 52, and his two brothers, Pedro and Oneil, have been arrested and charged with kidnapping. The women, who disappeared when they were 14, 16, and 20, are alive and apparently unharmed, though they were brought to the hospital with severe dehydration and some malnourishment.
The women were found after Amanda screamed for a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, to call 911 and he helped her kick the door in. When she came out, Amanda was holding the hand of a 6-year-old girl. That girl has since been identified by authorities as Amanda's daughter -- though right now it's unclear who her father is.
A picture of Amanda in the hospital with her sister shows her smiling from ear to ear. Right now she must be ecstatic to finally be out of that house. "I'm free!" she declared to the 911 operator.
But it sounds like it was a house of horrors. Reportedly, police found chains hanging from the ceiling in the home and the women were kept tied up. We must wait until all the facts come to light, but it's sounding more and more like these young women were kidnapped and kept as the men's sex slaves. Back in 2012, the mother of Gina DeJesus told the media that she believed her daughter had been kidnapped into slave trafficking and "sold to the highest bidder." But the police had reportedly concluded that she had run away.
Thank god these women -- and the little girl -- were found alive. They've got a long road ahead of them, but like other women who have had their childhoods stolen, such as Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart, they can now make a life for themselves with the support of their family, friends, community, and the entire country.
Can you even begin to imagine what these women have been through? Here is Amanda's unbelievable 911 call:
Image via ABC News