On Mother’s Day the Cleveland kidnapping survivors released their first personal statements through a spokesman.
The three women wanted to recognize the efforts of law enforcement and the support of their friends and family.
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“Thank you so much for everything you’re doing and continue to do. I am so happy to be home with my family,” Amanda Berry said in a statement.
Gina DeJesus said, “I am so happy to be home. I want to thank everyone for all your prayers. I just want time now to be with my family.”
The whereabouts of the third woman, Michelle Knight, remained undisclosed.
“Thank you to everyone for your support and good wishes. I am healthy, happy and safe, and will reach out to my family, friends and supporters in good time,” Knight said in a statement.
The three women were found after 10 years in captivity.
Berry went missing in 2003 the day before her 17th birthday. DeJesus was last seen walking home from school a year later in 2004. She was 14 at the time. Knight went missing in 2002 at age 20.
Ariel Castro was arrested on charges of kidnapping and raping the three women for more than decade in his Cleveland home.
It is unlikely the three will be making statements on their own any time soon.
“There is a pending criminal investigation and prosecution,” the spokesman said. “Miss Berry, Miss DeJesus and Miss Knight are victim witnesses in that proceeding, and it is not in the best interest of anyone connected with that proceeding for Miss Berry, Miss Dejesus and Miss Knight to be making statements to the media while that proceeding is pending. Most importantly, Miss Berry, Miss DeJesus and Miss Knight have asked – in fact have pleaded – for privacy at this time so they can continue to heal and reconnect with their families and their lives.”
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant.