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Three Cleveland kidnapping victims leave hospital, officials say

May 07, 2013|By Michael Muskal and Alana Semuels

CLEVELAND -- Three women, missing after they were kidnapped a decade ago, were released from a hospital Tuesday, hours after they were freed from their captivity, authorities said.

Police said they believed that the three women -- Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight -- were imprisoned for years in a Cleveland house after they were abducted when they were in their teens and early 20s.

After their rescue Monday, all were hospitalized overnight and released Tuesday morning to be reunited with their families, according to the hospital.

PHOTOS: Three missing women found in Cleveland

“We join the community in celebrating the safe return of these three women,” the hospital, MetroHealth, said in a statement.

Cleveland police are scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday morning to give more details of the case and the arrest of three brothers who are the main suspects in the case.

What is apparently the ending chapter of the years-long saga began Monday with a gasping voice on a telephone line crying for help. Officials on Monday released the 911 tapes that set off the sequence of events that led to a city exulting in what authorities said was the end of one of Cleveland’s worst crimes.

PHOTOS: Long-term abductions

“Help me. I'm Amanda Berry,’ the quivering voice tells police operators.

“You need police, fire, ambulance?” the dispatcher asks.

“I need police,” the woman responds.

“OK, and what's going on there?”

“I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years, and I'm, I'm here, I'm free now,” the woman says.

In addition to the three women, a 6-year-old also was found in the home, authorities said, but police didn't disclose the child's identity or relationship to anyone in the home.

Berry was 16 when she disappeared on April 21, 2003. She had called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King.

About a year later, DeJesus, then 14, disappeared on her way home from school. Police said Knight disappeared in 2002 and is now 32.

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Semuels reported from Cleveland and Muskal from Los Angeles

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