Beth Serrano, sister of Cleveland kidnapping victim Amanda Berry, spoke in front of cameras Wednesday afternoon asking for the media to respect her family’s privacy during their recovery.
“I just want to say we are so happy to have Amanda and her daughter home,” Serrano said. “I want to thank the public and the media for their support and encouragement over the years. At this time, our family would request privacy so my sister and niece and I can have time to recover. We appreciate all you have done for us throughout the past 10 years. Please respect our privacy until we are ready to make our statements and thank you.”
Amanda Berry, 27, is one of three women who were held captive, beaten and raped for 10 years after being abducted by 52-year-old Ariel Castro. She was expected to speak to the press on Wednesday to talk about her harrowing experience, but her sister made the brief statement instead.
Berry arrived back at her home just two days after escaping the decade-long nightmare and is reported to be in good health. Victims Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michele Knight, 32, were also discovered with Berry.
DeJesus returned home on Wednesday as well and hid herself from cameras as she re-entered her home for the first time in nine years. Her aunt, Sandra Ruiz, also asked the media for privacy.
“There are not enough words to say or express for the joy we feel for the return of our family member Gina,” Ruiz said. “We are asking for your support to be patient with us. Give us time and privacy to heal,” she said. “When we’re ready, I promise you… we will talk to you.”
The third victim, Michele Knight, has not yet been reunited with her family, but her mother, Barbara, is on her way to Cleveland from Florida to see her.
Kidnapper Ariel Castro and his two brothers, Pedro and Olin, were arrested when Berry escaped from the house and ran to a neighbor for help. The brothers, thought to be co-conspirators, were released without being charged, but Castro was charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.
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