Sheila Figaro: Gina DeJesus’ cousin says missing girl was held two blocks from aunt’s house

Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.
Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.

The families of missing Cleveland women Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry are still processing the fact that their loved ones were found alive after almost 10 years in captivity. Perhaps equally shocking — they were being held in a house not far from where they were abducted in the city.

Still, it goes one step further for the family of Gina DeJesus, who before Monday hadn’t been seen since 2004. The home of suspect Ariel Castro is in the 2200 block of Seymour Avenue — mere blocks away from DeJesus’ aunt’s home in the 3200 block of the same street.

“Last evening, I was in such a state of disbelief,” Sheila Figaro, a cousin of Gina DeJesus, told Metro. “There were all those thoughts that race through one’s mind – is she right under your nose? Has she been taken to another country? But, you just never know. To find out she was blocks two away from her own family…”

DeJesus’ family, just like Berry’s family, clung tightly all these years to the hope that she would still be found alive.

“Our family is very strong in our faith and never once doubted that we would be reunited with her alive,” Figaro said.

Figaro wouldn’t confirm that the family knew Castro, or his two brothers who are also in custody, before Monday, but said DeJesus is overjoyed to be reunited with her family, who rushed to the hospital immediately after hearing the news that she had been found.

“Everybody recognized her, and she recognized everyone,” Figaro said.

In the same house where Berry and DeJesus were held captive, police also found Michele Knight, who went missing from Cleveland in 2002 and the age of 20. A 6-year-old child, believed to be Berry’s daughter, was also found in the home. All of the victims were in good health, according to investigators.

“The three of them are like sisters. I am sure they kept one another alive,” Figaro said.

Figaro said she didn’t believe DeJesus had also given birth in captivity, but couldn’t be certain.

“You have to come to peace with God’s will, but you never give up hope,” Figaro said. ” I just continually prayed for God’s will to be done. I just prayed for closure, good, bad or otherwise. And he answered those prayers.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.