Amanda Berry’s sister makes statement: ‘Please respect our privacy’

Beth Serrano, sister of Amanda Berry, walks up to address the media in Cleveland, Ohio, May 8, 2013. Credit: Reuters
Beth Serrano, sister of Amanda Berry, walks up to address the media in Cleveland, Ohio, May 8, 2013.
Credit: Reuters

Amanda Berry’s sister has addressed the public to ask for privacy as Berry, who has been gone for more than 10 years, gets reacquainted with her family in Cleveland.

“We want to thank the public and media for their support over the years,” Beth Serrano said to a large gathering of reporters outside her Cleveland home.

Police officials had told reporters that Amanda Berry would be making a statement shortly after she arrived at the house, but it was her sister who came out to address the crowd instead.

Holding back tears, Serrano added, “Our family would request privacy so my sister, niece and I have time to recover. Please respect our privacy until we are ready to make our statements.”

Berry was able to escape the Cleveland house where she had been held captive since her disappearance at age 17 in 2003. Inside the same home, police found two other missing people: Gina DeJesus who disappeared at age 14 in 2004, and Michele Knight, who went missing at age 20 in 2002.

Berry gave birth to a daughter, Jocelyn, while in captivity, who is now 6 years old. The girls’ accused captor, 52-year-old Ariel Castro, is presumed to be the child’s father.

The city in Cleveland rejoiced at news that the girls, who were the focus of intense media coverage after their disappearances, were found alive in good health. They have been reunited with their family members since Monday night, who never believed the girls were dead.

Castro and his brothers, Pedro Castro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50, were taken into custody Monday. They are expected to be charged Wednesday, police said.

This incredible drama began to unfold Monday night when a neighbor heard Berry’s screams and pleas to be let out of the house. That neighbor, Charles Ramsey, helped kick through the front door, freeing Berry who then made a desperate call to 911. Investigators have since found ropes and chains they believe were used to restrain the girls in the house. They have not found human remains, fueling speculation into whether Castro was involved in other kidnappings.

Berry’s mother died of heart failure two years after her daughter went missing — people close to the family maintain she died of a “broken heart.” She went to her grave convinced her daughter was still alive, despite a reading from a psychic who told her Amanda was dead.

“It tormented her because she knew she was alive, but her heart gave out,” former Cleveland investigative reporter Duane Pohlman recalled to Metro. “There was something different about her mom that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. She was insistent, almost obsessive, that her daughter was still alive, almost to the point of wanting to convince me.”

Amanda Berry’s sister joined her at the hospital after her rescue Monday night. She has also reconnected with her grandmother in Tennessee by phone.

Gina DeJesus was also reunited with her family. Her cousin, Sheila Figaro, said the family never lost hope that Gina would be found one day. The house where the girls were held for more than a decade was just two blocks from DeJesus’ aunt, who lived on the same street.

“There were all those thoughts that race through one’s mind – is she right under your nose? Has she been taken to another country?” Figaro said to Metro. “But, you just never know. To find out she was blocks two away from her own family…”

Follow Cassandra Garrison on Twitter: @CassieAtMetro


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.

Local

Body found believed to be missing Fitchburg boy…

The body of a child found off of a highway in Sterling last week is likely that of missing Fitchburg boy Jeremiah Oliver, authorities said.

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.

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

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."

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

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

Parenting

Is camp right for introverts?

We ask an expert for tips on sending your introverted child to camp

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

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.