Cleveland Update: Amanda Berry home after ten years in captivity

Amanda Berry comes home after ten long years Photo: Welcome Home - Amanda Berry is free

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2013 — Cleveland Police First District Commander Thomas McCartney is announcing that Amanda Berry is returning to her family home after her horrific captivity. Police are asking the news media to please respect Berry as she comes home, “asking that the reporters do not bum rush, I do not want a carnival atmosphere.”

Amanda, now 27, was 16 when she was abducted at 7:10 p.m., April 21, 2003, one day before her 17th Birthday. That night she called home to tell her family she had a ride home. 

SEE RELATED: Details on recovery of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight

This week, Amanda took the risk that led to the rescue of herself, two other women, and Berry’s child.

Ariel Castro, owner of the home where she was kept, is the prime suspect in her kidnapping, and news is emerging that, in August 2005, a complaint by his now deceased wife was filed, seeking a protective order against him.

No assault charges were filed, even though the complaint includes allegations of two broken noses, two broken ribs, a knocked-out tooth, two dislocated shoulders and a blood clot on the brain. A protective order and complaint were dismissed with the wife’s acquiescence in November of that year.

Conspiracy, aiding and abetting, kidnapping, sexual abuse, false imprisonment and rape are just some of the charges that may be charged against the Castro brothers, charges that will be brought within the 48 hour window that started at the time the brothers were first detained. Conspiracy relates to what the brothers may have known, if they were not active participants in the physical and/or sexual abuse against these women.

SEE RELATED: Cleveland Miracle: Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight rescued

Following is a rolling update as neighbors, friends and news reporters stand by in Cleveland awaiting Amanda’s homecoming and press conference. She has said that she wants to address the press and public. 

11:22 a.m. EST: Amanda Berry will speak to the press. She has confirmed that the six-year-old child seen in photos is her daughter. Though the child has been named, picked up in a phone conversation between Berry and her Grandmother televised on CNN, the request is that no information identifying the child, or photos of the child, be broadcast. And we are standing by. 

Early reports are that of the other women held in the house, Gina DeJesus has been released from the hospital and is with her family. Michelle Knight was in frail phsyical condition and is still in the hospital. 

11:34 Amanda Berry’s motorcade has approached her sister’s house, a black mini-van pulling to the back of the house behind a fence. A strong police presence is keeping the media and watchers back. Amanda and who we would presume is her child have been taken into the house through the back. They were directly accompanied by two females, presumably FBI agents.

FBI agent Vicki Anderson has addressed the crowd saying that Amanda will not speak, but that Beth Sorano, Amanda’s sister will speak, saying tearfully, “We have Amanda and her daughter home and we want to thank the media and the public for their support and we ask for privacy.”

So while we are dissapointed not to see and hear from Amanda, considering the massive circus and crush of people there, one can imagine her reticence to appear. In the end this is a happy moment, a happy ending. Their need for privacy is understandable.

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Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin is an award winning journalist that began writing in 1993 following a successful career in marketing and advertising in Chicago.  She started Communities Digital News in 2009 as a way to adapt to the changing online journalism marketing place.  Jacquie is President and Managing Editor of Communities Digital News, LLC and a frequent contributor to The Washington Times Communities as well as a member of the National Association of Professional Woman, New American Foundation and the Society of Professional Journalist.  Email Jacquie here

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