After 10 years of being held captive, Amanda Berry is finally home.
The young Ohio woman, who became a national hero after breaking free from her kidnappers and freeing two others Monday, arrived to her sister’s house on Wednesday to the cheers of her community.
Berry, 27, arrived in a motorcade and was expected to make a statement in front of the home, which was covered in balloons and welcome home signs. Instead, her sister, Beth Berry Serrano, came out and thanked everyone for their support but asked for privacy.
“At this time our family would request privacy so my sister and niece and I can have time to recover,” said Berry Serrano. Her sister had a 6-year-old daughter who is believed to have been conceived and born in captivity.
Berry disappeared from her home in 2003 when she was 17. On Monday, she was able to make a break for freedom, kicking a door and screaming until a neighbor helped her escape. Berry called 911, which consequently led police to discover Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, who had also been missing for nearly a decade, in the same home.
DeJesus returned to her home around 2 p.m., while Knight remains at MetroHealth hospital, where an official there said she’s in “good condition.”
“There are not enough words to say or express the joy that we feel about the return of our family member Gina,” DeJesus’ aunt, Sandra Ruiz, said outside the home. She also requested “time and privacy to heal.”
Ariel Castro, 52, was arraigned Thursday morning on charges of four counts of kidnapping (including Berry’s daughter) and three counts of rape. His brothers, Onil, 50, and Pedro, 54, who were also taken into custody. They appeared in court in Cleveland Thursday alongside their brother but on misdemeanor charges unrelated to the abductions. Authorities said there is no evidence they were involved.
Here’s what else we know about the case:
The women were bound with ropes and chains—Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath told NBC’s Today that there is confirmation the three were bound and chains and ropes were found in the home.
The women never saw any grownups—Police sources told NBC News that for 10 years, the three captives did not see any adults besides their captors.
The women only left the home twice–Cleveland police said Wednesday afternoon that the women never left the property, only twice to go to the garage. Authorities said the “only chance” Berry had to escape was Monday.
There were multiple pregnancies and rapes—Authorities told NBC News that the victims have told them of multiple pregnancies, rapes, and miscarriages. A full police report is expected to be released sometime on Wednesday.
Questions over police missing key warning signs—One neighbor told NBC that he contacted police two years ago after a woman holding a child was seen banging on the window for help. McGrath said the house came under scrutiny twice—once in 2000 when Ariel Castro called about a street fight and another after he, a school bus driver, had left behind one of his passengers.
Questions about why Castro wasn’t stopped before—According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ariel Castro, was accused of attacking his former wife. The woman’s lawyer at the time said although the ex-wife had custody of the children, Castro “frequently abducts daughters and keeps them from mother.”
The women knew of each other’s existence–Cleveland police at a press conference said the women were not living in one room together, but “they did know each other and did know each other were there.”
No evidence of any other victims, say authorities–Cleveland police said they do not anticipate there are any other victims in which Ariel Castro is the suspect.
Ariel Castro offered victims car rides–According to the police report, Ariel Castro lured all three victims rides home to lure them into his house.