A sign outside the home of DeJesus’ parents read “Welcome Home Gina.”
Her aunt Sandra Ruiz told reporters that she was able to see all three. She asked that the family be given space.
“Those girls, those women are so strong,” she said. “What we’ve done in 10 years is nothing compared to what those women have done in 10 years to survive.”
Investigators celebrated the news almost as much as the families.
“For Amanda’s family, for Gina’s family, for Michelle’s family, prayers have finally been answered. The nightmare is over,” said Stephen Anthony, head of the FBI office in Cleveland. “These three young ladies have provided us with the ultimate definition of survival and perseverance. The healing can now begin.”
He added: “Words can’t describe the emotions being felt by all. Yes, law enforcement professionals do cry.”
The disappearances of Berry and DeJesus never left the minds of police. Investigators twice dug up backyards looking for Berry and continued to receive tips about the two every few months, even in recent years. But few leads ever came in about Knight, who was the first of the three to disappear, in August 2002.
Neighbor Juan Perez told NBC’s “Today” show that he rarely saw Castro or anyone else at the house.
“I thought the home was vacant. I thought he probably had another property and he would just come and check and see if everything is OK,” Perez said. “I didn’t even know anybody lived there.”
The women’s escape and rescue began with a frenzied cry for help.
A neighbor, Charles Ramsey, told WEWS-TV he heard screaming Monday and saw Berry, whom he didn’t recognize, at a door that would open only enough to fit a hand through. He said she was trying desperately to get outside and pleaded for help to reach police.