Cleveland kidnapping victims, from left, Amanda Berry, Lily rose Lee, formerly known as Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus. Photo: Heidi Gutman/Walt Disney television via Getty images & Nathan Congleton/NBCUniversal via Getty photos
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What taken place to Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle items After lock Escaped indigenous Captor Ariel Castro?

AuthorBecky Little

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What happened to Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and also Michelle article After they Escaped native Captor Ariel Castro?



Access Date

October 27, 2021


A+E Networks

The following has disturbing descriptions of violence and also sexual violence. Viewer discretion is advised.

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On might 6, 2013, TV news crews swarmed a house in Cleveland, Ohio to cover an amazing story: 3 women and also a girl had just escaped from the house after a decade of captivity. That day, Amanda Berry had managed to rod her arm out native behind a padlocked storm door and call for aid from ar Charles Ramsey. He helped an episode Berry and her 6-year-old daughter, Jocelyn. Once police arrived, two more women emerged: Georgina “Gina” DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who now goes by the surname Lily increased Lee.

The man who had actually kidnapped and also imprisoned the 3 women, and also fathered Berry’s daughter v rape, was Ariel Castro, a 52-year-old with a history of residential violence. He had actually abducted Lee earlier on respectable 22, 2002, as soon as she was 21 years old. She was to run late come a meeting about custody for she son, and also after protecting against at a keep to ask for directions, an additional customer, Castro, offered to help. Lee casually knew Castro through one of his four children (none of who lived through him).

Castro took benefit of the truth that Lee knew his daughter, and also that she was frantic to get to the custody meeting, by providing her a ride. Rather of acquisition her to her son’s foster house where the meeting was to take it place, that drove her back to his house, wherein he chained and also raped her.

Berry was just a work shy of she 17th birthday as soon as Castro abducted her on April 21, 2003 if she was walking home from her task at burgess King. Like Lee, she knew few of Castro’s kids, and also he provided this to disarm her as soon as he readily available her a journey home.

A year later, top top April 2, 2004, Castro abducted one of his daughter’s ideal friends: 14-year-old Gina DeJesus, that was climate in seventh grade.

Over the following decade, Castro tortured and raped the 3 of them. The chained lock in their rooms, boarded increase the windows and also locked the doors therefore they couldn’t escape. Lee became pregnant 5 times during her captivity, and each time he ended her pregnancy against her will certainly by physically abusing her. He likewise psychologically manipulated lock by sometimes “pretending” to leave the house, climate sneaking back in to make sure they to be still there. The warned the if he recorded them make the efforts to gain out, he would certainly kill them.

Castro to be arrested the very same day the females escaped. He was later on charged through 977 counts and pleaded guilty come 937 counts in exchange for preventing the fatality penalty—and, top top July 27, 2013, he got a life sentence add to 1,000 year in prison. Much less than two months later, ~ above September 3 of that year, the was found dead in his prison cell indigenous an obvious suicide.

When Lee, Berry and also DeJesus were lastly free, there to be a most life experience they were excited to have for the very first time. One of the big things DeJesus claimed she wanted to do as soon as she escaped at age 23 was find out to drive. She now has actually her driver’s license and is going ago to school. Both she and Berry additionally received honorary high school levels from john Marshall High School, the college Berry attended and DeJesus to be going to attend.

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Berry has been able come raise her daughter in a safe, healthy environment. Lee obtained married on may 6, 2016, the third anniversary of she escape native Castro’s house.

But as the women have commemorated these milestones, they’ve likewise faced the difficult task of reintegrating themselves ago into their families and also communities. Prefer Jaycee Dugard, who was walk away in California for 18 years, Lee uncovered it advantageous to get involved in one equine-therapy program.

“There’s no ‘one dimension fits all’ for exactly how someone comes the end of this situations and figures out a way to cope and reintegrate,” says Daniel J. Flannery, manager of the started Center for Violence avoidance Research and also Education at case Western reserve University. “Sometimes that’s by writing, periodically that’s through talking about it, periodically that’s by acquisition an advocacy role, and I think the young women have each done some of those things.”

Lee has published two publications under she birth name: Finding Me in 2014 and also Life after Darkness in 2018. In 2015, Berry and DeJesus released their very own book, Hope, which lock co-wrote with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan.

In addition, all 3 women proceed to carry out work approximately helping survivors, highlighting missing persons or helping households of missing persons. Lee started Lily’s beam of expect to support various other survivors, giving housing, clothing and also education assistance, amongst other services. Because 2017, Berry has hosted a segment ~ above FOX 8 News Cleveland around missing persons.

In early on 2018, DeJesus ended up being an ambassador because that Northeast Ohio AMBER Alert. Later on that year, she and also her cousin Sylvia Colon announced they were founding the Cleveland Family facility for absent Children and Adults. The organization concentrates on offer the households of missing people. The center helps them make flyers, acts as a conduit between media and also police and checks up on households to make certain they are eating, sleeping and also taking care of themselves.

Speaking with A&E True Crime, DeJesus describes why she wanted to open up up a center specifically for families. “When I come home, told me a tiny bit just how they to be treated, and also I didn’t favor that,” she says.

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For example, as soon as DeJesus’ mother first called police on the work she walk missing, police officers didn’t automatically investigate Gina’s situation as a lacking child because they suspect she had run away. Colon, who additionally spoke v A&E True Crime, states some that the center’s work entails educating police officers about how to compassionately answer to lacking person reports.

The center’s headquarters are scheduled to open up in November 2020 ~ above the exact same block together 2207 Seymour Avenue, the deal with of the residence where Castro imprisoned DeJesus for nearly a decade. (The home itself has actually been demolished.)

“Our space is situated on West 25th and also Seymour, best where ns was hosted captive for nine years, appropriate on the corner…because I wanted to bring optimistic to the street,” DeJesus says. “If I can be on the street, then anybody else can be on that street too.”

Colon note that just meeting DeJesus—a missing person that did at some point return home—has a large impact on families who are searching for a missing loved one. “Her visibility alone lets them breathe,” she says. “It just provides them hope.”

For DeJesus, see the impact she has actually on human being remains a little bit strange. “I still get happy about it, however at the very same time, I’m just Gina,” she says. “I’m simply a typical person.”

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