An extraordinary story is being reported from Cleveland. Three women who vanished a decade ago when they were teenagers have been found, alive.
The three women — Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight — apparently were held captive for years in a house on Cleveland’s near West Side. One of the women escaped through a broken door with the help of a neighbor who heard her cries for help. She then called police, who came to rescue the other two women from the house. The three women were taken to a nearby hospital, where they were found to be in fair condition. Three brothers have been arrested.
As the Cleveland Mayor has been quoted as saying, there are a lot of questions to be answered in the coming days. How were the three women held captive for so long in a Cleveland neighborhood? Were neighbors aware of their presence? Were there any signs that should have led to their rescue at an earlier date?
For now, though, the families of the three young women are just thankful that they have been freed from captivity and returned to their loved ones. Their story should give hope to the families of others who have been missing for years, who are shown in the blurry pictures on milk cartons and whose families have experienced terrible pain and loss. How many of the missing are still alive, held captive somewhere in an otherwise normal-looking American neighborhood, always hoping for a chance to escape?