Video: Man finds woman missing for decade — at neighbor’s house

posted at 8:01 am on May 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Meet Cleveland’s newest hero, Charles Ramsey, who saw a young woman in trouble and acted to rescue her. In fact, Ramsey’s quick action ended up rescuing three women missing for years — two more than a decade — in a bizarre but happy end to three mysteries:

“This girl is kicking the door and screaming,” Ramsey told NBC station WKYC-TV. “So I go over there … and I say, ‘Can I help? What’s going on?’ And she says, ‘I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been in this house a long time. I want to leave right now.’”

Ramsey, who lived across the street and let the woman use his phone to call 911, described being stunned when he realized that the woman was Amanda Berry, who had been missing for 10 years.

Ramsey told reporters he he had barbecued with the 52-year-old man who lived in the house. Police said that the man and two of his brothers, ages 50 and 54, had been arrested.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer explains further:

Aurora Marti, 75, who lives across the street from Castro, said she was sitting on her neighbor’s front porch talking Monday evening when an arm reached out of the front door at Castro’s house.

“She was waving her arm and saying, ‘Help me! Help me!’ ” Marti recalled through her daughter, who translated from her mother’s Spanish.

The captive woman identified herself as Amanda Berry and said she was kidnapped 10 years ago.

Neighbor Charles Ramsey said he also heard a girl screaming, “Help, help me out.” He said the girl looked familiar. He said he called 9-1-1.

Ramsey said Castro took off running while Ramsey kicked and broke the bottom of a door, allowing Berry to crawl out.

Police arrested Castro at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant and brought the other two women out of the house, witnesses said.

CBS has more on the victims:

Berry disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King. DeJesus went missing at age 14 on her way home from school about a year later. They were found just a few miles from where they had gone missing.

Police said Knight went missing in 2002 and is 32 now. They didn’t provide current ages for Berry or DeJesus. …

The women’s loved ones said they hadn’t given up hope of seeing them again.

A childhood friend of DeJesus, Kayla Rogers, said she couldn’t wait to hug her.

“I’ve been praying, never forgot about her, ever,” Rogers told The Plain Dealer newspaper.

Berry’s cousin, Tasheena Mitchell, told the newspaper she couldn’t wait to have Berry in her arms.

“I’m going to hold her, and I’m going to squeeze her and I probably won’t let her go,” she said.

Unfortunately, the one person who would have been most thrilled by Berry’s return won’t be there to see her:

Berry’s mother, Louwana Miller, who had been hospitalized for months with pancreatitis and other ailments, died in March 2006. She had spent the previous three years looking for her daughter, whose disappearance took a toll as her health steadily deteriorated, family and friends said.

Councilwoman Dona Brady said she had spent many hours with Miller, who never gave up hope that her daughter was alive.

“She literally died of a broken heart,” Brady said.

How did the perpetrator(s) get away with this for so long in the middle of a big city like Cleveland?  The neighbors were stunned.  Ramsey said he’s barbecued with the man on occasion, and others were similarly amazed and horrified:

Charlie Czorba, a Seymour Avenue resident of 25 years, told The Plain Dealer that he was stunned that the women had lived in the house for so long without outsiders knowing.

“This is our own backyard,” he told the newspaper. “These girls were locked up in our own backyard.”

The main suspect is reportedly a bus driver for the Cleveland school district.  So far names have not been officially released, but the Plain Dealer and others are reporting names based on information from witnesses.  Police have three men under arrest, the homeowner and two of his brothers.

Expect to hear much more about this case in the weeks ahead, but for now let’s just celebrate with Clevelanders that three young women presumed dead are alive, and now free of their tormentors.

Update: And this is more good news:

Don’t think that this is the end, though — these young women will need lots of counseling, therapy, and love from their community for years to come. At least they are alive and free to receive it.


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The kidnapper posted on his facebook page 5 days ago:

miracles really do happen, God is good :)

https://www.facebook.com/ariel.castro.10888938

It shows you how little we know people by their appearance…

djn on May 7, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Charles Ramsey interview inre finding Amanda Berry. BEST INTERVIEW EVER.

http://t.co/ce2HiB3jPh

Vote Charles Ramsey for Cleveland Chief of Police.

JohnTant on May 7, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Unbelievable

Ot: read your piece in the week….great take

cmsinaz on May 7, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Expect to hear much more about this case in the weeks ahead, but for now let’s just celebrate with Clevelanders that three young women presumed dead are alive, and now free of their tormentors.

With years of therapy ahead of them.

Happy Nomad on May 7, 2013 at 8:11 AM

What a story! I agree with what everyone is saying. Charles Ramsey is just great to listen to. Honest… no idea what was up with the neighbors. A hero and a lesson to all.

Didn’t something like this happen in Cleveland a few years ago.

zdpl0a on May 7, 2013 at 8:12 AM

The dude is indeed a hero. He did the right thing whenit counted and that is all we can ask of our fellow man.

BigGator5 on May 7, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Daily Mail has more information;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2320519/Amanda-Berry-Gina-DeJesus-Michelle-Knight-Cleveland-Girls-tied-basement-TEN-YEARS-escaping-3-brothers-arrested.html

Note the bit about “chains hanging from the ceiling” inside.

Nevertheless, I expect the defense to argue that it was all “consensual”, and maybe even “platonic”.

/spit

clear ether

eon

eon on May 7, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Mind boggling. AND a miracle! Good for you, Mr. Ramsey!

SagebrushPuppet on May 7, 2013 at 8:14 AM

It’s great reading a story of something good and happy. May those women heal quickly, the criminals go to prison for life, and may Mr. Ramsey always prosper. He’s a hero!

Liam on May 7, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Makes me want to do something good today.

Thank you Mr. Ramsey !

And God Bless the young lady who would not give up hope.

Jabberwock on May 7, 2013 at 8:25 AM

There’s real sickness in this world.

Cleombrotus on May 7, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Cruz/Ramsey 2016

docflash on May 7, 2013 at 8:28 AM

This might come out wrong, but it gives me hope the Boss Emeritus might still find her cousin.

The_Livewire on May 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Keep them away from interviews with the vultures in the media.

THAT is step 1!

PappyD61 on May 7, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Great interview. Can’t wait for the video remix. I hope he makes a ton of money.

LtGenRob on May 7, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Both the rescuer and the kidnapper were eating at McDonalds. Somehow I am sure somebody will blame the “food desert” aspect of the inner city. Bets on how long before Michelle Obama makes a statement?

cat-scratch on May 7, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Aside from the depravity of Castro, I can’t help but feeling a little sad that the mere act of a neighbor getting involved is enough to qualify for “hero” status.

Happy Nomad on May 7, 2013 at 8:39 AM

This might come out wrong, but it gives me hope the Boss Emeritus might still find her cousin.

The_Livewire on May 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

I have never forgotten this heartache that MM and her Loved
ones are going thru…there are no words…

ToddPA on May 7, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Dude deserves some credit especially in that neighborhood; too many people just turn the other way because they don’t want to get involved.

Still, how do the woman come back from that? 10 years being locked up in a house, they’ll be moving to Alaska and sleeping outside for the rest of their lives.

Bishop on May 7, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Saw this when canapfor posted last night and found it hard to believe.

All I have to say this morning is wow.

cozmo on May 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Castro was evil…and his actions contributed to the death of Amanda Berry’s mother, God Rest her Soul.

God Bless and Keep these women & their families.

“Ariel Castro wrote a story about kidnap victim Gina DeJesus back in 2004.
Tonight he was arrested for kidnapping DeJesus and two other girls…”

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/05/devil-ariel-castro-wrote-story-about-victim-gina-dejesus-back-in-2004/

workingclass artist on May 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM

There are still good people left in this world.

And, everyone used to think that the SVU episodes were far-fetched.

Well…when Wolf goes all Leftist on the plot, they are, but still…

kingsjester on May 7, 2013 at 8:47 AM

An amazing story. So sad that there is such depravity in this world. But a happy ending, thanks in part to the brave neighbor. Oddly, a similar story line was the ploy of last night’s Hawaii Five-O. Weird.

KS Rex on May 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM

The Daily Mail article includes this:

Amanda’s relatives have confirmed that one of the children in the house is her daughter that she gave birth to while being held against her will; the girl is thought to be aged about six.

I’m very happy that these 3 women and one girl are now free. The six year old girl was born into captivity and has never experienced freedom in her life. Thank God that all 4 of them are alive and now free.

I expect that most readers here believe that the captors, Ariel Castro and his brothers, deserve life in prison, if not the death penalty, for their actions.

But does any reader here think that the six year old girl should get the death penalty?

No, of course not. That would be absurd.

Yet that is exactly what happens when people support abortion in the cases of rape… the innocent baby is given the death penalty for the crime committed by the biological father.

ITguy on May 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Dude deserves some credit especially in that neighborhood; too many people just turn the other way because they don’t want to get involved.

Still, how do the woman come back from that? 10 years being locked up in a house, they’ll be moving to Alaska and sleeping outside for the rest of their lives.

Bishop on May 7, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Agreed, having come from a similar neighborhood you are not far off the mark.

I would say this is where a strong family comes in, you can’t ever go back to the way it was after something like that. But, with their help, you can pick up the pieces and try to start again.

Course with the ever benevolent state to stand in as mom and dad who needs one right?

Gatsu on May 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM

my coworker just played the Ramsey 9-11 call for me, freaking hysterical. be careful, not really office friendly – 4-letter words all over the place.

crrr6 on May 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM

“There has to be a Tea Party angle.”

-Tingle Leg

Bishop on May 7, 2013 at 8:57 AM

I hope that Mr. Ramsey gets any reward that was offered during the years these girls were missing.

workingclass artist on May 7, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Aurora Marti, 75, who lives across the street from Castro said “[s]he was waving her arm and saying, ‘Help me! Help me!’ ” Marti recalled through her daughter, who translated from her mother’s Spanish.

75 years old, living in Ohio, and can’t speak a word of English, eh? Hardly the neighbor you want to rely on in an emergency.

And we want to legalize 11 million (a lowball number to be sure) of these and invite millions more in?

jangle12 on May 7, 2013 at 9:03 AM

crrr6 on May 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Have you got a link for that?

EnglishRogue on May 7, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Are the Castro brothers illegal aliens?

sentinelrules on May 7, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Want to make a bet that the chimps that produce movie scripts for the Lifetime Network are already cranking out the first draft of a production called “My Name is Amanda Berry” or something?

Happy Nomad on May 7, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Two big “thumbs up” to Mr. Ramsey. Well done, sir!

Kingfisher on May 7, 2013 at 9:16 AM

This might come out wrong, but it gives me hope the Boss Emeritus might still find her cousin.

The_Livewire on May 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

.
I thought the same thing! Her name is Marizela Perez. Here’s an official website devoted to finding her.

ExpressoBold on May 7, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Lol. The way Ramsey talks is pretty much the way I talk. I am the white Ramsey.

But, yeah, crazy story.

I only eat McDonalds when desperate though.

Anyway, really glad these women were rescued.

WhatSlushfund on May 7, 2013 at 9:21 AM

One side story: “psychic” Sylvia Browne told Berry’s mother that she was dead. What a scumbag.

Hal_10000 on May 7, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Great story. Other than the families of these women, there are two more people who are probably just as happy. B.O. and Hillary as it allows the networks to relegate Benghazi to the back burner.

Clink on May 7, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Like the media was really going to cover Benghazi. Yeeeeeeeeeeeah.

Disclosure: I am from Northern Ohio, so I do have some bias in the following. It’s a damn shame that CNN was the only cable network to have covered this story last night. I didn’t care for the predictable talking points from either Fox or LSDNC. But both blew it big time. Hannity and Greta could have devoted at least a few minutes to it in the midst of their lambasting of Hillary and Obama, but they decided to look completely as out of touch as the MSM groupies they attack.

An all-news cable channel ought to be reporting the news. And this story IS news.

Myron Falwell on May 7, 2013 at 9:36 AM

One side story: “psychic” Sylvia Browne told Berry’s mother that she was dead. What a scumbag.

Hal_10000 on May 7, 2013 at 9:34 AM

She clearly didn’t see this ending coming.

Myron Falwell on May 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

So glad to hear of a story with a happy ending. Prayers for those women and child who were freed; as Ed stated, they will require years of counseling to return to a normal life.

The follwoing struck me as somewhat amusing and demonstrates the laziness of the lamestream media:

Police said Knight went missing in 2002 and is 32 now. They didn’t provide current ages for Berry or DeJesus. …

They did, however, provide the ages of those women when they were kidnapped and the year in which they were kidnapped. Perhaps the police thought that the reporters would be able to do simple math.

AZfederalist on May 7, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Both the rescuer and the kidnapper were eating at McDonalds. Somehow I am sure somebody will blame the “food desert” aspect of the inner city. Bets on how long before Michelle Obama makes a statement?

Something about a war on women.

guinneach on May 7, 2013 at 9:47 AM

They did, however, provide the ages of those women when they were kidnapped and the year in which they were kidnapped. Perhaps the police thought that the reporters would be able to do simple math.

AZfederalist on May 7, 2013 at 9:44 AM

You also have to calculate how tall Imhotep is when conducting maths.

Myron Falwell on May 7, 2013 at 9:48 AM

It is stories like this that continue to confirm to my wife and I that you really cannot trust on face value anyone. You have to be vigilant, always.

There are times I feel even more overly protective than my wife to which she teases me – and she’s no slouch – but you just CANNOT let your gaurd down. Period.

Yes, children grow up and you have to give them independence and responsibility, and sure, you cannot be everywhere or do everything, but still, while you have opportunity, do everything in your power as a parent to protect your child(ren).

All it takes is once…

Logus on May 7, 2013 at 9:55 AM

crrr6 on May 7, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Have you got a link for that?

EnglishRogue on May 7, 2013 at 9:03 AM

From WTAM 1100.

It is a must listen.

Myron Falwell on May 7, 2013 at 10:01 AM

djn on May 7, 2013 at 8:06 AM

While it’s entirely possible that is the suspect’s FB page, considering the history of people rushing to judgements, perhaps it’s best not to make such assumptions so soon?

How many times over the last two years have we heard the news blurt out, “this is suspect so-and-so’s picture/name and we found their FB/Twitter/blog – whatever”… and then the next day it’s found out that it’s not the person, but the damage is already done?

Just saying.

Years ago I used to think I was the only person in the world with my exact first and last name. Over the last couple of years, I’ve discovered that there are two other people in the world with my exact first and last names. It doesn’t matter that they’re across the globe or look nothing like me. With so many armchair investigators, it’s too easy to make mistakes, and with an internet that doesn’t forget, lives can be ruined forever with one mistake that someone else makes.

Logus on May 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

One side story: “psychic” Sylvia Browne told Berry’s mother that she was dead. What a scumbag.
Hal_10000 on May 7, 2013 at 9:34 AM

She clearly didn’t see this ending coming.
Myron Falwell on May 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Browne said she envisioned Amanda’s jacket in a Dumpster with “DNA on it.”

The poor mother believed her and pretty much died from a broken heart a few years later.

The 911 dispatcher Amanda called when she managed to break free is in desperate need of retraining, if not firing.

whatcat on May 7, 2013 at 10:06 AM

How many times over the last two years have we heard the news blurt out, “this is suspect so-and-so’s picture/name and we found their FB/Twitter/blog – whatever”… and then the next day it’s found out that it’s not the person, but the damage is already done?
Logus on May 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Yup, and “Castro” is a relatively common Hispanic last name, even in the US.

whatcat on May 7, 2013 at 10:09 AM

A parade and any reward money for the Good Samaratan…

Life in prison IN DIFFERENT PRISONS for the kidnappers… solitary confinement works for me…

Khun Joe on May 7, 2013 at 10:09 AM

It’s hard to believe people have become so isolated from community & their neighbors.
But then, I think some of this has to do with the fact that government has replaced the role of community in people’s lives.
The government, state & federal, has made it easier for people to become detached from being involved with their community in any meaningful way.
You don’t have to be a nosy neighbor to spot things like this.
I’m watchful of my surroundings. Now I know my neighbor is a mile away. And the other one is 2 miles away. But still. I drive around, ride my horse all the time round this country.
I know what is & what is not out of place.
Anytime you hear about meth people out here etc you are never surprised when they arrest someone.
I am praying for good things for these women.

Badger40 on May 7, 2013 at 10:10 AM

What an amazing story. I hope the three girls can recover.

Hopefully the guy who found them gets some sort of cash reward and recognition from the police.

Great job, sir!

RedNewEnglander on May 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM

BTW, IMHO, I do not think that a neighbor doing their community & human duty as a decent person should get any reward for answering the cries of help from someone like this.
That $$ should, & I certainly would give it to them if it were I, go to the victims.
This notion these days that people should be rewarded with such things for EXPECTED good common decent behavior is wrong.

Badger40 on May 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM

BTW, IMHO, I do not think that a neighbor doing their community & human duty as a decent person should get any reward for answering the cries of help from someone like this.
That $$ should, & I certainly would give it to them if it were I, go to the victims.
This notion these days that people should be rewarded with such things for EXPECTED good common decent behavior is wrong.

Badger40 on May 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Lighten up, Francis.

RedNewEnglander on May 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Browne said she envisioned Amanda’s jacket in a Dumpster with “DNA on it.”

The poor mother believed her and pretty much died from a broken heart a few years later.

The 911 dispatcher Amanda called when she managed to break free is in desperate need of retraining, if not firing.

whatcat on May 7, 2013 at 10:06 AM

THIS.

Psychics are full of crap anyway. But Sylvia needs to have that crap flung back at her. Miss Cleo and her tarot cards would have been more reliable.

Fortunately, the majority of people – including Amanda’s surviving family members, and Gina’s entire family, as well as the entire West Side neighborhood at large, ignored Sylvia and never gave up hope for close to a decade. A vigil for Amanda and Gina, IIRC, was held last week.

Myron Falwell on May 7, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Years ago I used to think I was the only person in the world with my exact first and last name. Over the last couple of years, I’ve discovered that there are two other people in the world with my exact first and last names.

Logus on May 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

What really happened was the size of your world changed. ;)

Of all the folks involved, I feel for the little girl. She is going to need years of strong love to be ‘normal’. May God bless her.

GWB on May 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

I’m always amazed at stories like this. What gives any human the idea that they can deprive another human her right to live her life as she sees fit? To “steal” her from society and keep her locked away, lets face it, for sex? That freak in Kirkwood, MO who had the teenage boy and was trying to steal another one. The freak in Belgium. The list is long. God bless these women. I’m sure they will move on. Life is good if you choose to make it that way. They will cherish their freedom and overcome with love, support and patience from those so happy to have them back.

JAM on May 7, 2013 at 10:32 AM

But then, I think some of this has to do with the fact that government has replaced the role of community in people’s lives.
The government, state & federal, has made it easier for people to become detached from being involved with their community in any meaningful way.
You don’t have to be a nosy neighbor to spot things like this.
Badger40 on May 7, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Don’t know if you can lay it all at the feet of the government. It’s more a matter that either people care or they don’t care enough to get involved. The question goes back to at least the Kitty Genovese murder.

That being said, it is a sad commentary on our culture when you’re considered a hero just for doing the right thing or helping out a fellow human being who’s in trouble. This guy is quite the character, but I’m glad he was there when needed.

whatcat on May 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I have a 14yr old unbelievably badaZZed daughter. Great softball player (3B w a cannon arm, and a outside hitter in volleyball) and a even better volleyball player. As of now, about 5’10″ and 135/40lb. Strong as heck just like her Mother. All the time we put into her sports, and now she’s loving conditioning too. After hearing this I said to the wife today, I want her to know how to take care of herself. Forget sports (well maybe she can do the Mui Thai too) I want her to be able to kill someone with her bare hands.

LtT26 on May 7, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Does the penalty for kidnapping, false imprisonment and statutory rape in Ohio involve firing up Old Sparky?

Bruno Strozek on May 7, 2013 at 10:55 AM

So happy for these girls’ freedom.

HellCat on May 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Can we talk about locking up the mentally unstable now?

Odysseus on May 7, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Does the penalty for kidnapping, false imprisonment and statutory rape in Ohio involve firing up Old Sparky?

Bruno Strozek on May 7, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Maybe they can put it on low voltage and just let him simmer awhile?

GWB on May 7, 2013 at 11:33 AM

THIS!!! Even babies born of rape/incest are innocent and equally deserving of life lived to the fullest. The soul defines the person and indwells the physical body, regardless of how the body was conceived.

AH_C on May 7, 2013 at 11:52 AM

LIFE in prison MY BUTT!

strap em all 3 down on fire ant beds (or just make sure they land in General Population in the slammer)

Katfish on May 7, 2013 at 11:53 AM

The main suspect is reportedly a bus driver for the Cleveland school district.

This makes me feel really good. / sarc

SubmarineDoc on May 7, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Does the penalty for kidnapping, false imprisonment and statutory rape in Ohio involve firing up Old Sparky?

Bruno Strozek on May 7, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Unfortunately, no. Minimum sentence is 15 years, maximum is life, on each count. And the Ohio Revised Code handles all “permutations” of kidnapping and abduction, including for sexual-slavery purposes, under a single statute;

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2905

However, sentences can run consecutively. I think three consecutive life sentences apiece is the minimum penalty these three should receive.

clear ether

eon

eon on May 7, 2013 at 1:27 PM

However, sentences can run consecutively. I think three consecutive life sentences apiece is the minimum penalty these three should receive.

eon on May 7, 2013 at 1:27 PM

That sounds good. Anything in there about shortening a sentence for bad behavior? You know, ending one life sentence so you can get on to the next one?

GWB on May 7, 2013 at 1:53 PM

The main suspect is reportedly a bus driver for the Cleveland school district.

This makes me feel really good. / sarc

SubmarineDoc on May 7, 2013 at 12:40 PM

It is quite possible that he was hunting for his next victim.

ITguy on May 7, 2013 at 2:14 PM

I recommened keeping them all in a tiny metal box.

In the sun.

For the rest of their lives.

The_Livewire on May 7, 2013 at 3:47 PM

I’d just let them loose in the general prison population-then walk away.

gerrym51 on May 7, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Will the State Run Media cover this as a local crime story..?

d1carter on May 7, 2013 at 5:50 PM

He sort of looks like the preacher guy from Coming to America

Conservative4ev on May 7, 2013 at 8:09 PM