Loud cheers greeted Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus as they arrived at their homes Wednesday afternoon, almost one decade after they were abducted, subjected to prolonged sexual and psychological abuse, and were apparently bound with ropes and chains, in the Cleveland house of horrors.
The happy homecoming came on the same day that 52-year-old Ariel Castro was charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, and police officers pulled out over 200 items of evidence from Ariel Castro’s home on Seymour Avenue.
Castro reportedly only let the women, who he forced to wear disguises, outside twice in 10 years to walk from the house to the garage. Castro was arraigned this morning in a Cleveland Municipal Court and is being held on bond for $2 million in each case. His brothers, Onil and Pedro, were not charged in the kidnapping after police interviewed the women and Castro, who waived his rights to stay silent and spoke with investigators.
Berry, 27, and her six-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, arrived first to her sister’s home with a police escort. The front porch was covered with balloons, cards, and Teddy Bears. A big sign read “Welcome Home Amanda.” A few hours later, 23-year-old DeJesus, who pulled down a hoodie over her face, gave a thumbs up to the crowd before she ran into her family’s home, which was being protected by the red beret-sporting Guardian Angels.
Some family members of Michelle Knight, who is reportedly 32, are saying that they are still waiting for their moment to celebrate. Knight is reportedly receiving medical care in a hospital after FBI agents interviewed her on Tuesday. Knight was reportedly beaten regularly by Castro in the face and suffered hearing loss. According to a leaked police report, Knight got pregnant five times while in captivity, miscarrying each time after Castro pummeled her.
“I’ve been trying since day one to see her,” says Knight’s grandmother Deborah. “Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus have been reunited with their family. We are just sitting here waiting. We are trying to get in touch with her. She has no one there for her right now.”
“We need to get all the family together,” she added.
© 2013 Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC