Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cleveland Missing Women Rescued: A Day to Celebrate!

How wonderful to have positive news to celebrate ~ the rescue of three missing women. Three separate kidnappings that occurred about a decade ago. It's a joyous day for all Americans, but especially for the family and friends of victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight; and certainly every person in law enforcement, past or present, who has had to deal with the nightmare of a kidnapped or missing person, and the tragic effect it has on their loved ones.
It certainly brings to mind the heartening returns of Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard, and Katie Beers.
During my 21-year police career, I spent several years working in the Public Information Bureau. I handled the media during the Katie Beers kidnapping in late December 1992 into January 1993. Just before leaving home to work a 4 pm to midnight shift on January 13, my mother called with news she heard on the radio that Katie Beers had been found. I held my breath, then asked, "Alive?" and to my biggest relief, she said "Yes." On January 13, 2013 (the 20th anniversary of Katie's rescue), her book (written along with Carolyn Gusoff), Buried Memories: Katie Beers' Story, was released.
Reunion of sisters Beth Serrano & Amanda Berry
photo via usnews.nbcnews.com
The exciting reunions have begun. The NY Daily News reports that Amanda Berry reunited with her older sister Beth Serrano. Beth also got to meet the niece she never knew she had. Sadly, Amanda's mom died from heart failure in 2006, but Amanda's family never gave up hope.
America has a new hero, Charles Ramsey -- a neighbor who got involved by assisting a distressed woman and her child. This interview with Charles Ramsey is fantastic. His 911 call is quite colorful but entertaining. The Daily Beast assembled some of the most unique witness interviews with folks who became internet sensations, which now includes Charles Ramsey:
Former bus driver Ariel Castro, age 52 and two brothers, Onil and Pedro, have been arrested. How frightening to learn that this man had access to children. It's bizarre that all three brothers apparently engaged in this crime.
Mugshots via hinterlandgazette.com
I look forward to the media coverage in the days and weeks to come, as more details become known about how these women and a young child survived this ordeal.

I hope this rescue gives the family and friends of missing persons a ray of hope that in the very near future that they, too, may be reunited with their loved ones.
Take a moment to review the FBI cases of kidnappings and missing persons; you never know who may be in your very own neighborhood or have been assimilated into society under another name and change of hair color or style. The U.S. Department of Justice has a website called NAMUS (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
God Bless these women (and Amanda's child) who have miraculously returned to their loved ones. May their futures be healthy, bright, and full of love and laughter throughout the healing days, weeks, months, and years ahead. Please say a prayer for the kidnapped or missing people who are currently being held captive so that they, too, may escape or be rescued by an attentive neighbor. 


  1. What a gift for the families and friends of these survivors ~ to get them back after all these years! It's so sad and frustrating to know they were so nearby all this time. It's sickening to know that all 3 brothers could have the same criminal mindset and behavior. I hope these men had a miserable ten years having to keep watch and guard over them. With three suspects, it's no wonder they've been trapped all these years. If it was only one suspect, he could never have kept this up by himself. What a dream ending for a missing persons case; and not just one, but three ~ + a new one. That poor child...at least she had three caring women in her short six years ~ but no doctor, dentist, school, library, friends? I can't wait to find out how they survived this ordeal.
    I hope all is well with you and your family, Charles.

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