The Cleveland Kidnappings (2021) Movie Script

I just want people to know
that she's still missing,
and if anybody out there
has a heart...
and they know anything
that happened to Amanda,
just please pick up the phone
and call
the police department.
I saved a lot of things.
And I'm not sure why.
I can't believe
that I'm sitting here,
talking about it.
Oh, God. I shouldn't say this.
[announcer] Amanda disappeared
on her way home
after leaving her job
at Burger King
on West 110th and Lorain
a day before
her 17th birthday.
I just need to know.
It's killing me.
I need to find out what
happened with my daughter.
That story sure was probably
the most important story
of my whole career.
Welcome back, everyone.
Cleveland police are asking
for your help tonight to find
a missing 14-year-old girl.
Her name is Georgina De Jesus.
She's been missing
since after school yesterday.
I wanted to know
what kind of evil
would do something like this.
Can I tell the story?
I don't think I should.
Cleveland police detectives
and now fifteen FBI agents
aggressively working
this mysterious disappearance.
Amanda Berry vanished
seemingly into thin air.
It's a life-and-death thing.
Whatever you got,
let these two children
go home.
I had no idea
that evil could be so...
My name is Bill Safos.
I was a television reporter
many-many years,
33 years maybe.
When my family immigrated
to the US from Greece...
I was the youngest.
We bought our first TV.
I remember, my brother and I
were so excited.
And my brother wanted cartoons
and things that kids watch.
[voice from TV]
But then I got used
to watching the news
and trying to figure out
what they were saying.
I learned to speak English,
and I translated.
I told my dad
what was happening.
Back then, Ohio State had
a great journalism program.
And that's where
I wanted to go.
And I ended up getting a job
at the NBC Station
there in Columbus.
Take a look
at Court Street today.
Things pretty much
back to normal.
You can see
most of the shops are open.
Everything, as a matter
of fact, is open.
I never wanted to sit
in the TV station
all day long.
They toppled buildings
and destroyed lives.
And at the same time,
they strengthened
the American spirit.
We have joining us...
I wanted to go out
and meet people
and do different things
every day.
I just loved doing it...
[sighs] ...the day
I met Louwana Miller.
I remember sitting
in the newsroom
and I saw these people.
We get a lot of people
coming into the TV station.
So there's people coming
and going all day long.
But some for some reason,
they caught my eye.
And I said,
"Hey, who are those people?
What's their deal?"
The receptionist is like,
"Oh, it's a mom
whose daughter is missing."
And right away...
within the first few minutes,
I knew it was the real deal...
that when Louwana's daughter,
Amanda, didn't come home
that something was wrong.
Somebody has this kid and
we got to do something now.
Amanda worked at Burger King.
And Louwana told me Amanda
never liked to walk home.
It isn't the best
of neighborhoods.
So Louwana said, she always
got a ride home
or we would tell her to wait.
But that night, they were
on the phone together
and Amanda says,
"I have a ride."
She kept saying,
"Amanda would have never
got in the car
with the stranger."
That was her big thing.
She would never got in a car
with the stranger.
And I know she didn't run away
because she had a good life
at home.
Hey, there.
I can't see nothing.
[indistinct chatting]
[laughs] Yeah.
[indistinct chatting]
I was 12 years old.
It was 2003
when she came up missing.
I looked up to her.
In school, she was like,
as far as I know,
she was a straight-A student.
And she would tutor me
with math and stuff like that.
I would always hang out
in her bedroom
and play Super Nintendo
and her PlayStation.
She loved rap music and R&B.
And she loved shoes.
She loved name brand stuff
just anything name brand.
I just keep hoping
that she's out there
And she'll come home.
[announcer] Amanda Berry's
mother has spent days
wondering about and searching
for her 17-year-old daughter.
Trying to hang in there.
She held my feet to the fire.
She wanted it
in every newscast.
"I want to see Mandy
on the news.
I want her picture.
I want people to...
somebody saw something,
somebody knows something.
So put her picture on TV.
Help me. Please help me."
I want my daughter home, man.
And if she can't come home,
I just want to know
where she's at.
Most people thought
she ran away...
even the police officer
that came that night.
So it took a while
before there's--
"Hey, maybe something
happened here."
This wasn't your typical
missing person case.
There was no crime scene.
There was no witnesses.
So the detectives went out
and started...
well, they talked
to the family.
They talked to the people
at Burger King.
They talked to friends,
and just tried to get as much
information as they could.
There were a lot of tips
that you have to disprove
and run them down.
[police radio sounds]
There was just nothing to 'em.
[reporter] Louwana Miller
sits by the phone.
It rings often, but it's
never the call she wants.
But tonight, Cleveland FBI
says a phone call
to Amanda's mother
one week after her daughter's
may hold the key.
I get a phone call.
And it's an unknown male
and just says
that Mandy's with him
and she's all right.
So I just kept him
on the phone
for as long as I could,
see if I could hear
maybe my daughter
in the background.
-[interviewer] And then what?
- And he hangs up.
When the phone call happened,
Louwana called me
and told me about it.
She's like, "You're not going
to believe this
I got a phone call," she said,
"from the guy that has Mandy.
He told me not to worry
about her and she's fine.
But he called me
from her cell phone."
I remember telling her,
"Well, that's great
because the FBI
is going to be able
to figure out where he is.
They could track that stuff."
FBI got the chronicle
people involved
and were using equipment
that I didn't know existed.
We believed that the call
bounced off
one particular tower.
So what we did was,
we went for that tower
and we drew a piece
of a pie like this...
and went knocked
on every door,
interviewed every person,
every vacant cemetery.
It gave me hope that,
you know what...
she's alive,
she's in a house...
or an apartment
or a location somewhere,
and that there's a chance that
we're going to find her.
[Bill] When Louwana
found out the tower
that cell phone call hit...
she was obsessed.
We went there...
saw the tower
we were in that neighborhood.
Louwana told me,
"I feel my daughter, Bill.
I know she's alive
and she's somewhere
close to me
and she was so right,
she was so right."
And it's so crazy
that we were so close.
-[horn honking]
-[indistinct chattering]
I grew up around here
as a kid...
pretty much my whole life
when I graduated.
My high school
was right down the street.
And this
was a very... very tight-knit
Puerto Rican neighborhood.
So everyone pretty much
knew each other,
everybody hung out
with each other,
the families
all knew each other.
it was a great place
to grow up.
And we all pretty much
had each other here.
The Castro family
was one of the first families
to come from Puerto Rico
into Cleveland.
They were well known.
Cesi Castro,
what I have nothing,
but the utmost
respect for him.
He was almost like
a father to my father.
And I literally grew up
in that store that he owned.
So this is Cesi's store...
was Cesi's store.
That's what we would need
for a Christmas party.
So we'd go back there,
play music
and everybody hung out
with each other.
Cesi Castro
was Ariel Castro's uncle.
Ariel Castro lived, literally,
down the street,
I mean, from the corner store
to where this house was.
I mean, it's half a block.
I'm sitting on this front
porch and every day.
I'm looking...
Puerto Rican dude
across the street.
I said, "Sit right here,
let me talk to you.
This dude next door,
what's his name?"
"Why is this house boarded up?
I don't see
no air conditioning."
It's got to be stifling
in that house.
I'm outside dying right now."
And he's like,
"He's Puerto Rican."
"Oh, you Puerto Rican.
I see your mother's
got central air.
Why is that house boarded up?"
"You asked many questions."
"Is that right?"
I want to know
why he lived that way.
It was something about him
that captivated me,
but I couldn't put
my finger on it.
[reporter] Tattered Flyers
are all that's left
to remind us that Amanda Berry
vanished almost
six months ago.
I just want people to know
that she's still missing,
and if anybody out there
has a heart
and they know anything
that happened to Amanda...
just please pick up the phone
and call
the police department.
I told her that I would fight
and try and put
Mandy's picture on the air...
as much as I can,
but if she didn't see
her daughter's picture...
on the 11 o'clock news,
at 11:30,
my phone was ringing
and she'd be like, "Bill,
why wasn't Mandy's picture
on the news?"
If anybody knows anything
about my daughter...
I wish somebody would come
Because somebody out there
knows something.
[Bill] After the story and
the case started to get cold,
Louwana, like any parent
who never got
to see their kid again,
would get frustrated
and worried and think...
that police and the FBI
aren't doing enough.
So Louwana arranged for the
FBI to come to her house.
I was in the living room
when, when he got there, "Oh."
And I'm like, "Oh, my God.
Louwana, I'm leaving,
I'll call you,
call me when he leave."
"No, Bill,
you're not leaving."
And her friend was there too.
And they pushed me
in the bedroom.
And she's like,
"Lay on the floor!"
And then she took
the bed spread from the bed
and just kind of
covered me up.
Then the two of them went out
to the living room
and this FBI agents
discussing all kinds of things
that was definitely
And I wish I had a notepad.
But they must have
had a list there,
and they were going down...
talking about people
of interest...
who might end up
being suspects or whatever.
Well, next thing I know,
every friend
brought it into me.
It's like, "Here."
I'm like, "You guys did not
just take that
from an FBI agent."
I'm like, "Oh, my God, they're
gonna get me in trouble
for interfering with
this guy's official business."
but of course,
I was like, "Look it."
And that's the list
that Louwana and I
started looking at
and those are the people
we started spying on
doing our own surveillance.
There were
all sorts of people.
There were sex offenders
in the neighborhood...
drug dealers.
After going through
that whole list,
she wasn't satisfied.
But she wasn't as upset...
that they weren't finding
because we weren't
finding anything either.
Thank you all very much
for being here.
I appreciate it.
[Bill] She was determined
to get her daughter home.
Now, she didn't care.
She thought
they weren't going to do it.
She was going to do it
if she wasn't
going to do it herself,
she was going to make me
do it.
But... and somehow
I listened to her.
Because it was the right thing
to do.
Not the right thing here,
but the right thing here.
It was. It was.
[Terry] She could rely on him
for everything,
And so she goes, "You know
what, let's go shop."
And I said, "Okay." I said,
"What do you want to do?"
She goes, "I want to buy Bill
a nice shirt and tie."
[Bill] She's like,
"It's a blue shirt and a tie,
and I want you to wear it
the day Mandy comes home."
And I said, "Okay."
Welcome back, everyone.
Cleveland police are asking
for your help tonight
to find a missing
14-year-old girl.
Here is her picture.
Her name is Georgina De Jesus.
The teen's family says,
she's been missing
since after school yesterday
and does not...
[Bill] I was shocked.
It was another girl, the same
neighborhood, same body type.
It just seemed like
the same story...
but exactly almost to the day
a year later.
[reporter] She does not have
a history of running away.
She goes by the name Gina.
Please call Cleveland police
if you've seen her...
Right away, I just got
this horrible feeling that...
this might be related
to Amanda.
[Nancy] It started out
as a beautiful day for me.
It was same routine.
I woke her up.
I gave her a hug and a kiss,
told her I loved her.
She left with her father
that took her to school
in the morning.
At 2:30, 3:00,
she didn't come home.
So I was "Wait a minute.
Let me give her 30 minutes
because maybe she stops,
she's probably joking around
with the other kids,"
in that which would be
a normal routine for her.
But when I noticed
30 minutes went by,
that's when
I got really worried.
Because she should
have been home.
[Mayra] My mom was like,
"There's something going on."
And I was like, "Mom,
what are you talking about?"
She's like,
"Gina isn't home yet."
And I'm like, "She probably
went to her friend's house."
She was like,
"No, it's too late.
I've called her friends.
No one has seen her.
Mayra, something's wrong."
I drove back to the school.
I must have searched
about at least a good hour...
didn't see nothing,
nobody's around,
got back in the car
went back to the house.
Right then, and then I started
to feeling...
Gina's in a lot of trouble.
Another emotional day
as a family hopes
for the safe return
of their 14-year-old daughter,
searching for Gina after she
disappears without a trace.
You know, she left school.
She walked with her friend
who wanted to have a sleepover
at least get together
after school,
they went to a payphone,
friend left...
and Gina's last seen walking
eastbound on Lorraine.
That's what we knew.
We went over the area,
cameras everywhere,
closed down all four streets
of that whole area,
105th on Lorraine,
it's a kind of a busy area...
and then let the dog do
his thing and the dog went
to the...
payphone, the exact location
where we knew she last was...
and nothing after that.
Hundreds of people,
including Gina's family
met at this phone booth and
West 105th and Lorraine Avenue
for a candlelight vigil
and prayer.
This is the last place
Gina was seen on Friday.
Her friend, Arlene Castro,
was with her
before they parted ways.
The last thing she said to me
was "You owe me $0.50."
Felix, her father got the rest
of my children together
and two of my nephews
and part of his family.
They were literally
looking into dumpsters...
for my daughter.
[Felix] Didn't sleep.
Didn't eat. I wasn't thinking
none of that.
My days went where I wanted
to get and find my daughter.
I wanted my daughter home.
[indistinct chattering]
I think I didn't do my job
very well.
As a protector...
I put it on my fault that this
happened to my child.
I felt that I, right there
and then, that I have failed.
[Lydia] I'm sitting
in the editorial meetings
and somebody said, "Oh,
there's another missing girl,
who wants to cover it?"
This one is
on the west side of Cleveland,
and they gave a little bit
of background on it.
And then they said, her name
was Gina De Jesus.
I'm like, "Hmm, that sounds
Puerto Rican."
So I say,
"Hey, I'll take the story."
Because I felt that me
being Puerto Rican
would maybe help them feel
a little bit more comfortable.
So I went over
and Nancy does the interview.
And she goes, "My daughter
did not run away."
I said, "Are you sure?"
She goes,
"Yes, why would she run away?
She had no issues with us.
There's no way
my daughter ran away."
In my heart,
I know she's still out there.
And in my heart, I think maybe
going with
the mother's intuition.
I couldn't feel
her being gone.
I would tell Nancy like,
"Are you sure she's not dead?"
She goes, "Nope,
my daughter's not dead.
I know my daughter's alive.
I would feel it
if my daughter was dead.
Somebody has her.
Somebody has her."
And we still have the hope
that she is going to walk
through our door.
If by chance
she can see this...
I just tell her
just to keep her faith
and that we will find her,
she will be coming home.
[Gina] I watched the news
to see my parents on there.
My name is Gina De Jesus.
My mom and dad,
is named Nancy and Felix...
It helped seeing
my parents on TV.
I would cry sometimes.
And then I'd be like,
"They're still out there."
It gave me hope.
And I think that's what really
kept me going.
That day, I'd get up
like a normal day.
School was let out
at like 2:30.
I had my bus money.
But sometimes, I liked to just
walk home with my friends.
And I was like, "Do you want
to come over and hang out?"
She's like,
"I have to call my mom."
So I gave her $0.50
to call her mom.
And she asked her mom.
And she said no.
And she went one way
and I went the opposite way.
Her dad was, I guess,
watching us
and he pulled up
and asked me
if I seen his daughter.
He asked me
if I'd help him find her.
And I said okay.
I kind of got a little nervous
because he didn't turn around.
But then he said, he needed to
get something from his house.
I was like, "Okay."
And I was just like,
I guess in my own way
try to convince myself like,
"No, I know him,
he's my friend's dad."
He knows my parents.
I didn't really think
nothing of it.
Well, he asked me to help him
bring out the speaker when
he just closed the door...
turned out to be the basement.
Then he told me
that I couldn't go home.
My own thing was to try
to get out of the house
and get back home
to my parents.
And I was trying to figure out
how to like undo the lock,
but I couldn't because
my hands was tied
and my mouth was taped.
I don't want to talk
about what he did to me...
don't want to go there.
[announcer] Tomorrow night,
at 9:00 p.m.,
the entire nation
will get a chance to join
the hunt for Gina De Jesus.
The fourteen-year-old's
will be featured on FOX's
America's Most Wanted.
Meanwhile, local law
enforcement authorities
and the FBI continue to search
for signs of the teen.
[Lydia] At first, I didn't
make a connection
between the two missing girls.
And it was Bill who made
the connection
between Amanda and Gina.
And he goes,
"Lydia, I'm telling you now
these two cases
are connected."
I said, "How do you know?"
He goes, "I don't know.
It's just a feeling.
I just think
they're connected."
[Bill] I kept asking
the police,
did you connect the cases?
I kept asking the FBI,
are the cases connected?
"No, no.
We can't connect them."
You know, we can't connect
them officially.
I thought, well, we got to...
if the police aren't going
to connect the stories
and talk
about the similarities,
we have to point them out.
I said, I think we should
introduce the two families.
I think they would like
to meet.
Oh, my God.
I don't know
what to say to you
because I've been there
for a whole year.
I just hope you don't have
to wait as long as me, man.
[Bill] So we all met
at Louwana's house
and sat down,
and with our heads together,
and tried to come up with...
some kind of lead or suspect.
And one of the ways
that I thought of
was that we check
all the employees
at that middle school
that Amanda had went to...
and that Gina
was still going to.
So we asked the schools
for all the personnel files
of the teaching
and non-teaching staff there.
And one of the people
was a janitor at that school.
He was a convicted rapist
who had served his time,
got out.
And I remember, I was like,
"Oh, my God...
how did this rapist
get a job?"
And could he have
anything to do
with their disappearance?
[Bill] In our investigation
of who might be responsible
for Gina and Amanda's
we wanted to know
if this convicted felon,
this rapist knew anything.
He knew that we wanted
to question him.
And so he ran away from us.
He ended up getting in his car
and speeding away.
Oh, God, I shouldn't say this.
He ended up going home
and he ended up
killing himself, committed...
I mean, he shouldn't
have taken his own life.
All we wanted to do
was ask him questions.
He already paid his debt
to society.
It wasn't his mistake
that Cleveland schools hired
him. They shouldn't have.
They should have done
the background checks...
but when we were so close.
[engine sounds]
It wasn't
that former employee,
but it was a former employee.
[guitar sounds
playing Latin music]
My name is Ignacio Miranda.
I was a Band Director
for the group Cinti.
We played Bachata Merengue.
I'm working
at the library cleaning,
and actually doing a lot
of the yard work outside.
I see a school bus pull up.
I see a man get out,
comes over and says,
"Hey, I hear you're looking
for a bass player.
My name is Ariel Castro."
I talked to him
for a little while
and ended up going
to his house shortly after
just to see what he could do.
He lived alone on Seymour.
I had heard that he had
a rough go at it
with his ex-wife.
I got to listen to him play.
He's actually
a really good musician.
He could really play.
You know, we were
following each other.
We didn't really need
the sheet music.
We didn't need any of it.
We were just playing.
Then I wanted to go
to the restroom
before I made it home.
And I said, "Hey, is it okay
if I use your restroom?"
And he says, "Didn't your mom
train you any better?
You're not supposed to go
to somebody's else's house
and ask them
to use their restroom."
I'm like,
"Okay, whatever, dude."
And I'd walk off.
So we proceeded
to have him in our band.
We played around a different
west side of Cleveland.
Belinda's Nightclub
was one we used to play.
Once we started
getting a little bit more...
people wanting for us to play.
We got offered a gig
in Pittsburgh.
And he said,
"No, I'm not doing it.
You guys figure it out.
But I'm not going."
He was willing to go half hour
away or an hour away,
but he couldn't go
any further than that.
Amanda Berry disappeared
the night before she would
have turned 17.
And in a poignant tribute,
her family is marking
her 18th birthday
with a solemn vigil
and a plea for help.
It's been so long,
I can't take it anymore.
All I need is an answer.
You know, the knowing
is not the hardest part.
Not knowing
is the hardest part.
[Nancy] Louwana Miller,
very beautiful woman
and suffered so much
of not knowing
about her daughter.
So we share
that mutual feeling, you know.
And we knew
our daughter was out there.
Her family's pain is shared
by the parents
of Gina De Jesus,
the 14-year-old Cleveland girl
who disappeared
five blocks from the spot
Amanda Berry was last seen.
Gina's father is convinced
that both girls were abducted.
And whoever's got them,
they let them go, please.
Whoever you got them,
let these two children
go home.
[indistinct chanting]
[Michelle] I felt for everyone
that was on the TV
looking for Gina and Amanda.
My name is Michelle Knight.
And I was abductive
before Gina and Amanda.
Nobody was looking for me.
Who do we want?
-When do we want them?
I was in the house
two years before Gina.
No one interviewed or arrested
has been connected
to this case.
Nobody ever deserves
to go through something
what we went through ever...
not even our worst enemy.
The years of living
in his house
was filled with torture, rape
and verbal abuse.
His whole persona
was terrifying.
He turned
into Jekyll and Hyde,
like he was nice one moment.
Then he just turned
into this horrible monster.
That particular day, I needed
to go to an appointment.
Unfortunately, they did not
give me the correct address.
I end up going
to two wrong places.
So I was asking
the store manager,
"Do you know
where this place is?"
And the person that was
walking in the store,
he overheard the conversation
and said, "Hey, I know
where that's at."
So quickly I recognized him.
And I'm like,
"Oh, you're Emily's dad."
She was a friend at the time.
So I got in the car.
It was an old truck...
very ugly reddish orange.
I didn't really think
nothing of it.
We started talking
about his daughter.
And I remember saying,
"You're going the wrong way."
He said, "Oh, I got to stop
at my house."
I was in his backyard.
And he was just talking
about his daughter.
And then
for some other reason,
we got onto puppies.
He asked me would I like
to give one to my son.
And I was like,
"Oh, that would be wonderful."
As I got out of the car,
he said,
I got to lock the gate.
I was like, "Okay."
And then I was like, "Hey,
why did you lock the gate?"
He was like,
"it's a bad neighborhood."
So I was like, "Okay, okay."
The area that we came through
was the kitchen.
As we walked up the stairs,
I didn't hear no sounds
of puppies.
So I got a little bit
more scared.
As we got fully up there,
he shoved me into a room
and shut the door.
And said,
"You'll never see home again."
I panicked.
I just dropped to the floor
begging him to let me go.
And as he was looking
through my stuff,
he started ripping
pictures up,
he started cutting my ID up,
he asked me, did i have
a cell phone on me,
even like took off my clothes.
He took an extension cord
and he wrapped it
around my arms and my legs...
and stuffed a sock
in my mouth...
and put the extension cord
around my neck.
And then I was hanging...
from a rod
that went across the room.
I was literally hanging there.
My legs, my feet, my arms,
all parts of my body
just went completely numb.
I couldn't move.
I was like frozen.
I was like, I don't even know
what was going on.
All I know is I was crying.
I was thinking of my son.
That's the only thing that was
keeping me holding on.
Because I didn't know
how to keep hanging on.
At that point,
I just wanted to go.
I just wanted to leave Earth.
Every day, I would ask
so many questions.
They'd be like,
"Don't ask us anything
about Ariel's house anymore."
I just got a gut feeling.
That don't get you nowhere.
You need credible evidence.
I know I just got a feeling.
In my heart,
I was having panic attacks
and didn't know why...
over this little short
Puerto Rican dude.
So I watched him, got nothing.
Watched him, got nothing.
Watched him,
he do normal [bleep]
drive school bus,
he hangs with children.
I see people letting him
watch their children.
All right. It's normal.
Listen to rock and roll,
listen to the Beatles.
He's got to be normal,
listen to the Beatles, right?
Anybody's normal.
Right, there you go, right?
Mother's little helper
right here all morning, right?
Okay. So it's normal.
[Gina] He comes in with a gun
and he want to play a game.
I'm going to play
Russian roulette.
And I said, "Sure."
I was fourteen.
I don't even know
what Russian roulette was.
Michelle was like,
"No, I don't wanna play that.
So then, so it's just me
and him playing.
I just wanted to turn the gun
to him and say goodbye.
But I was too scared...
and I really didn't think
there were bullets in the gun.
But then he showed us that
there was a bullet in there.
He spinned it
and then he was like,
"I'll put it to your head
and pull the trigger.
And if you die, then you die."
So then I was like, "Okay."
I'm thinking,
what do I got to lose?
The bullet was there.
So I got really lucky.
So then he gave me the gun.
Then he's like...
"If you pull the trigger...
that means you hate me.
If you don't pull the trigger,
that means you don't hate me."
She took the gun
and she went to pull it.
And I was like, "Are you sure
you want to do this?
Are you positive?
I was like, "Oh, go ahead."
I stepped back
and I just let it happen.
So I pull the trigger hoping
that the bullet was there.
And it wasn't.
So I got to let him know
that I really didn't like him.
Maybe I thought I could help
because they thought
their daughters were alive.
So that's why I was...
so dead set
on doing what I was doing.
It's like
nobody cares anymore.
She's been gone so long.
I ain't going to stop.
Louwana wanted to meet
that psychic, Sylvia Browne.
She thought
that Sylvia could help.
I'm just like, that is BS...
not what I wanted to do.
But eventually,
I'm like, "Fine."
My management helped
arrange for Louwana
to be a guest and meet Sylvia.
What is this gift and why
do you have it and he don't?
-Is this... What is psych--
-I don't know what it is.
I believe
that it comes from God,
say I am because I am.
And finally...
it came time and Sylvia
turned to her and said...
"I'm sorry...
your daughter's dead.
She's in water."
Bum, bum!
And the camera goes
real close to Louwana.
-And I'm like...
...I'm almost like jumped up
and started screaming.
I just hate this.
She's not alive, honey.
I'm like, "What...
How can you say that to her?
You don't know
that her daughter is in water.
You don't know
that her daughter is,
for years this woman
has believed in her heart
and her soul
that her daughter is alive
and you just come up
with this freaking [bleep]
She was so crushed.
It stomped on her soul.
Her spirit, her hope.
[indistinct chatter]
You got to do it.
This is all that matters.
She was upset for a long time.
I was trying to comfort her
in every way...
[indistinct chatter]
...but she just was not
feeling good,
she wasn't eating right.
But it was
Amanda's disappearance.
But physically, she was sick.
Her family called me up...
and said, "Hey, Bill...
Louwana's real sick.
You've become
part of our family, Bill.
And we want you there
with us."
And when I walked
in that hospital room
and saw, I mean,
I was just like, it took...
it was just so sad.
I went over and grabbed
her hand, I said,
"You're going to be fine,
you're going to be fine."
And she started
to squeeze my hand.
I said, "I know what you want
to tell me,
to make sure Mandy's picture
is on the news all the time."
And I said, "Trust me,
I'm going to do that,
but you're going to have
to get better and help me.
So get better and get out
in a couple days,
and help me, remind me.
No, we'll do this together.
We'll bring Mandy home."
It was so sad that she was
going to leave this Earth
without knowing
where her daughter was.
It was so unfair.
Nobody should ever have
to go through that.
I just couldn't help...
get her kid home
and it bugged me.
I was the actual one
that let her know
that her mom had passed away.
It was very hard to process,
and I really felt for her.
I tried my best
to do what I could
inside of a house that nobody
should ever been in.
As the days going past
of being in the house...
I had ended up getting
pregnant about five times.
They were all aborted
in abusive ways...
some starved, some I was beat,
I was thrown downstairs.
I was also hit with a barbell
more than once.
He told me that we could
never have a kid here.
It'll be too loud.
So my question was to him,
"Why get a girl pregnant,
if you were going
to make them suffer
horrendous abuse?"
So I end up getting hit more
because I guess
I was too mouthy for him.
So I basically told him
this will be the last time
you abort a child
because I won't let it happen.
Amanda got pregnant as well.
I was scared for that child.
I was scared for her.
I was scared
that she might not make it.
We're not in a hospital.
Anything could go wrong.
He told me before anything...
if the child got hurt or sick
or anything for that matter
during the process of delivery
that he would kill me.
And I believed him.
I believe that he would
actually do it.
When the baby came out,
didn't make a sound.
You have to clear the lungs.
So I had to smack it out
from the back,
like up above her upper back.
I had to go like this.
So she can cough it out.
So she can finally
start to go, "haa."
And then she started crying,
and that was
the amazing part about it
is that I was able
to deliver...
help deliver a baby
and it was a miracle.
Give me a second.
I got to take a break.
I'm so glad that she was able
to have her...
and that she came out
very wonderful
with all 10 toes
and all 10 fingers...
and a very gorgeous
little smile.
[Gina] Amanda had a baby.
And she... it definitely did
kind of change
a little bit for us.
When the baby was born,
that's when he decided
to permanently
take the chains off
and padlock our doors.
There was an emotional chain.
Though, where he had
scared us so much...
that I feared running,
he always used each other
against us...
like for instance,
he would say,
"Well, if you try to run,
I'll kill her."
Or if you try to do this,
I'll kill you.
He will use things like that
against us,
so we can be afraid to run.
I remember one time he told me
that if I tried anything,
he would hang me
from my ankles,
so the blood
could rush to my head.
So I didn't try anything,
but I always wanted to escape,
I just couldn't get out.
This is an FBI sketch
of what they thought
the person of interest
in Gina's disappearance
looked like and it's...
it's haunting, how close
it ended up being of him
at that age.
[announcer] The FBI released
this composite sketch.
They said a man driving
a light-colored small car
was wanted in connection
with Gina's disappearance.
[Felix] The first thing that
came to my mind, I said...
I think I know this person...
and I kept wondering...
where I met this person.
Because I...
it looks familiar...
and I showed it
to my two oldest brothers.
And they like,
"We know that person,
whoever this is
we seen them somewhere,
but we can't put our finger
on it."
We had over 3,000 people
in the city of Cleveland...
searching for whoever
took my daughter.
The father of Gina De Jesus,
missing now for four years
says, he won't rest
until both girls are found.
It's been four years
for my family.
Now, it's five years
for theirs.
Please help
both of our families.
It was hard watching my dad...
listening to him crying
in the middle of the night
when no one was up
or he assumed we were not up.
And it would just hurt
my dad sacrificed everything
for us.
[Lydia] As the years went on,
the newsroom
didn't want it anymore.
They're like, "Oh, I don't
want to hear anything else
about those runaway girls.
We don't need to cover them
anymore. Those are runaways."
And then,
Nancy would call and say
"Hey, we're having this today.
Can you stop by?"
So I'd go and talk
to the producer.
And I said, "Look, I'm going
to give you the story you want
and then some, but please,
please fit in something
to talk about
the missing girls."
Keeping Gina's memory alive
is all they can do.
Tips are still coming in.
And as long as we can take it
to the media
and it shows my daughter...
people who do call...
I just don't think that there
was as much interest on it
as there was for the families,
myself, and Bill.
Because we believed them.
[Mayra] The two cousins
that were
around Gina's age
that she grew up with,
they were growing up.
They were becoming
junior high school students,
high school students.
And those were definitely
hard times for me
because it was like Gin
would be doing this.
[Gina] Sometimes, I didn't
sleep and I would just stay up
and just think of my family
and what they were doing...
and did they have a good day,
you know.
Sometimes, I was mad at the
world because I was stuck.
[announcer] Almost exactly a
year after Amanda disappeared,
Gina De Jesus vanished
five short blocks away.
Over the years,
their families become one.
But after eight years,
the crowd is doing...
[Gina] In the beginning,
when I was first kidnapped,
they were on the news
like all the time.
So I was like,
"Yeah, I'm on all the time."
And then, after years went by,
it was just the anniversary.
So that was like once a year,
I got to see my family.
And tomorrow marks
Amanda Berry's 25th birthday.
[Michelle] He made us
have a different name
because he didn't want
the child, Jocelyn, to know
who we really are.
Because not only
was we able to see the news,
she was able to see
the news as well.
So as she started
getting older,
she started talking,
she started noticing things.
[Charles] I thought that was
his granddaughter, yeah.
Wherever they go,
he's got her hands.
She never walks alone.
He bought her one of those
little tight things.
She's got a Barbie jeep,
you know.
And he walked on the side of,
he spoiled that girl rotten.
So in my head,
he's a good grandparent.
Well, that's his daughter.
But who knew that?
[Dave] In 2012,
we received a letter
from an individual
named Robert Wolford.
He was incarcerated
in a prison,
state prison in Southern Ohio.
In a letter, the individual
had stated
that he was responsible
for the disappearance
of Amanda to include...
being responsible
for killing Amanda.
Using a cadaver dog,
Cleveland police officers
and an FBI evidence team
search sift dirt
in a vacant lot.
[Dave] There was some
credibility to the location.
A couple days after Amanda
had gone missing,
her mother received
a phone call
from her cell phone.
What was interesting to us
about Wolford
was the area
that he had claimed
that he had buried Amanda fell
within that cell phone range.
[reporter] For two long days,
Cleveland police, FBI agents
and city workers worked
nearly around the clock
looking for possible remains
of Amanda Berry.
By 2:30, this afternoon
heavy equipment used
to dig up this empty lot left.
Police cleared out,
the search was over.
There were negative results
for any human remains.
And that's when
he admitted to us
that he made
the whole story out.
He wanted to get out
of the jail
that he was in
for a little bit.
And by coming up
with the story
and saying
that he was involved...
that was a way for him
to do it.
As remote as it is, there's
still hope for the family.
Maybe somewhere,
this girl still alive.
The messed up part about it
is that they were so close...
so close.
And we couldn't do anything.
We couldn't let them know
we were here.
We couldn't scream...
so close but so far away.
And he laughed.
He laughed about it.
And he said, you're never
going to get found.
They're this close and
they still haven't found you.
I just was sitting there,
me and Gina was talking.
And I turned to her and said,
"Hey, what if today
is the day that we go home?"
Wouldn't that be amazing?
And she said,
"Yeah, that would be."
[Gina] I would say
I heard like...
was whispering to Jocelyn.
She went downstairs,
came back up and said,
"I can't find Daddy."
So I looked at Michelle,
I said, "We could go..."
like our doors were open
and unlocked.
[Michelle] I heard Jocelyn
coming up
the stairs saying
"Daddy wasn't here,"
but I thought
she was just joking.
Then I noticed
that both of them
went back downstairs together.
So I figured maybe he just
called her down there...
and they're just going
to have a conversation.
[Gina] I went to watch
TV again.
And the next thing
I heard like booming
[Charles] I'm at home and
I hear this banging, bang,
bang, bang, bang.
And I look out of my window...
and I see my neighbors...
in the middle of the street,
but they're not looking at me.
They're looking
at the house next door.
So now, I open my door.
I come outside.
"What are you looking at?"
Bang, bang, bang.
Oh, there's that.
"What is going on?
What is that?"
"There's some girl,
she want to get out
of the house."
"Why don't you help her?"
"We're not going
to get involved in that.
We don't know her."
So I go off my porch, okay?
What is the problem?
Then "I need
to get out of here."
"Then get out."
And I can't.
He's got the door locked...
or chain up rather,
I said, "Oh, God."
All right. So I got a Big Mac
in my hand,
just at McDonald's.
So debate,
help the girl I don't know...
$4 hamburger I just bought.
I know the hamburger
just bought it.
I don't know you.
All right. Here we go.
Put the hamburger down.
Destroy the door,
she comes out.
She comes out
with a little girl and said,
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
I'm not with the kidnapper.
What's the little girl?"
Because in my head,
that's Ariel's granddaughter.
"Who are you?"
I'm stopping her.
I'm pulling her own daughter
out her house.
She's like, "This is my kid."
Who are you?
"I'm Amanda Berry."
It's not registering yet,
Okay. Well, here,
you call the police.
[police in radio]
[Amanda speaking]
[police in radio]
[Amanda speaking]
[police in radio]
[Amanda speaking]
[police in radio]
[Amanda speaking]
[police in radio]
[Amanda speaking]
[police in radio]
Our dispatcher said
that she had a female
on the line stating
that she was Amanda Berry,
and that she was free
that she had been kidnapped
for 10 years,
and she needed help.
[police on radio]
We immediately turned on
the lights and sirens,
and we headed toward Seymour.
[police siren wailing]
As we were pulling up,
I see a young lady standing
there holding a child.
My partner asked her,
is there anybody else
in the house?
You know what, she said, yes,
there's two more girls
in the house.
So we started charging
towards the house.
[police on radio]
My door was unlocked.
So I peeped out it
a couple times
and said, "You know what,
I'm just going to go out it."
She kind of got excited.
I'm like, that's probably
not a good idea.
I'm not even going to try it
because it's probably a trap.
I don't know
what's in his mind.
So I didn't do anything.
And then next thing
you know,
I hear footsteps coming up
the stairs.
Then I hear "Police, police."
And then when the person
opened the curtain,
and I seen the badge...
I ran so fast...
and jumped into their arms
and told them,
"Never let me go...
never let me go."
She said, "My name
is Michelle Knight.
I'm 31 years old.
I've been here for 12 years.
You saved us."
I peep my head out the door.
Like I say,
they were police officers
and they made me
repeat my name twice.
And I looked at her
and I immediately knew
who it was.
I just couldn't believe it.
I told her, "We've been
looking for you for a long
And I'm like, "I know,
I've been watching the news."
[police on radio]
One of my special memories...
is sitting in the ambulance
looking at Jocelyn,
Gina and Amanda.
And Amanda
reaching her hand out...
saying, "We're going home,
we're finally going home."
And I said, "Yes, we are."
[announcer] It is a story
we followed for 10 years.
And tonight,
we're following breaking news,
three women that vanished
have been found alive.
[Felix] Snatched the keys
for the car...
then I went outside,
here comes three cop cars.
They asked me,
"Where you going?"
I said, "Well, I'm getting
in the vehicle.
The media said that they found
three girls on Seymour.
I'm going to drive down there
and to see if it was Gina."
She goes,
"You're not going nowhere.
That's why we came here
to take you."
I said, "Take me where?
To Seymour?"
She goes, "No, we're going
to take you to the hospital.
We found your daughter."
I said, "What?"
[announcer] We've seen
a lot of hugging, crying.
This is video from outside
of this hospital,
but when are these young women
going to be released?
They're just telling me,
no comments.
[Theresa] They found Amanda.
And we get to the hospital.
And there she is,
standing there.
And then we all start hugging.
It seemed like a half an hour.
We didn't even let go.
Then when we let go, we look
over and there's everyone.
It's real quiet.
And they're all staring
at us...
the police, the nurses,
the doctors, the FBI.
They're just all standing
there just in awe.
[Mayra] I'm standing
next to my dad.
And he goes...
"Promise me you don't break
down and start crying."
I said, "How am I
going to promise that?
I'm the sissy of all the
group. I'm going to cry."
He's like, "You got to be
strong for your sister."
I'm like, "Okay, Dad.
I'll try my best,
can't guarantee nothing."
Wow. Nine years.
And I lost it.
I couldn't believe that I was
hugging my daughter.
I was actually
in my garden
when I got this phone call
like, "Dude...
you're not going
to believe it,
the girls, the girls,
they were found."
And I'm like,
"What are you talking about?
Slow down."
when he said Gina and Amanda,
those two names,
I like flipped out.
And I call Bill.
I said, "Bill, is it true?"
He goes, "I'm at Amanda's
house right now.
I got to go. Bye."
I'm like, "Oh, my gosh."
The 19 Action News, all over
breaking news right now,
the long-awaited homecomings
begin for the three missing
Cleveland women
found alive.
Yeah. We definitely know
that the family
is going to be coming back
here this morning.
What I can tell you is,
I'm not sure
how long they will be staying.
Once they get here, and I...
I was on the air live...
and Romona Robinson,
who I worked
with at the NBC Station,
she goes, "Remember that gift
that Amanda's mother
bought you?"
She goes, "Yeah, remember
she got you a shirt and a tie
and she told you to wear it
on the day Mandy comes home."
And I can't believe...
she bought me that
and she was right again.
She knew that her daughter
would come home.
And she knew she wanted me
in a clean shirt and clean tie
to tell the world
that her daughter was home.
I'm Bill Safos
at the home of Amanda Berry.
It was the moment
they had waited for.
Amanda's journey home
finally ending safely.
Louwana, if she was here,
she would have run around
and kissed everybody
and thank you
and she wouldn't
have been able...
Louwana to thank
everybody enough
because that's how she was.
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. She's home.
Let's now go to Lydia Esparra
who is very close
with the De Jesus family.
Good afternoon.
And they are so excited.
You can see behind me
the balloons are still here.
They're bringing chairs
in the house.
There's a sense
of a party atmosphere.
Everyone's so excited.
Well, I was happy to go
to the house
to walk in the doors.
For my first time, my mom
kept saying in the interviews,
"My daughter's going to walk
through the front door."
I looked at my mom
and tears came down my face.
And I was like, "Oh, my God,
finally we're at home."
So it was like happy thoughts.
I started crying.
Gina! Gina!
[Nancy] When Gina came home,
I did what I did
when she was born.
When the baby is born,
the first thing you do
is check the fingers,
check the toes,
the legs, the arms.
And that's what I did.
I was petting her down
and checking her...
making sure
everything was there, I guess.
I don't know.
My first reaction...
as I saw my daughter...
the only thing I did
was grab her and hug her.
I didn't want to let go.
We would like
to thank everyone,
especially Lydia Esparra.
There's Bill Safos
from channel 19 Action News.
And thank you, guys,
to both of you
because I know we started
covering this story
together ten years ago.
And the two of you,
unlike a lot of reporters
who move on to the next story,
the two of you kept in touch
with those families,
kept telling their stories.
And that's why they were
thanking you this afternoon.
So well deserved. Thank you.
Wow. Our pleasure, Romona.
It was our pleasure.
They deserve all the credit.
Unfortunately, that homecoming
wasn't there
for Michelle and I--
I felt so sorry, sad for her.
And the worst part
for Michelle too
is she had to watch the TV,
knowing that Gina's family
and Amanda's family,
they were looking for them.
And nobody
was ever looking for Michelle.
I felt like the person
that had a nameless face.
I felt like the forgotten one.
And when someone says,
"Oh, well, your mom
was looking for you,"
but it wasn't that extreme.
They told her to come back.
They told her to recheck.
And she didn't do that.
So therefore,
they closed the case.
[Brian] And we dropped
the ball,
you know.
She was reported missing
in the first district,
but actually went missing
in the second district.
There was...
little or no contact
to the police.
We missed something.
[Dave] My impressions of the
house when I walked through it
were that there was
very little outdoor
or natural light,
closet doors that had been
removed from the closets...
screwed onto the wall
to cover the windows.
The things that were shocking
to me were the chains...
the chains that were used to
keep the girls in confinement.
spoke volume,
the amount of chains
that were removed
from the house.
They were rusty.
They were heavy.
[Lydia] Every day,
more news came out
about what happened
inside that house of horrors
and how she was kidnapped,
and that it was
a friend of theirs,
and that
same friend of theirs,
Ariel Castro even played
at my church
in Youngstown
at a church festival.
I remembered
because he would wear this cap
and I remember him.
There I'm like,
"Son of bitch,"
that he was at my church
while he was holding
these girls hostage.
Ariel Castro?
I'm up here in the courtroom
on the third floor
where he will be brought in
before the judge.
And Ariel Castro is the man
who has perpetrated
these crimes,
kidnapping and raping
Amanda, Gina and Michelle.
He was the bus driver
that took kids
to and from that middle school
that they both attended.
So they knew him
and he knew the girls.
All rise.
Ariel Castro had a big
personnel file
at that middle school
and we didn't get it.
Because when I did the freedom
of information act request,
they gave me all these files
to all the people
that worked
in that middle school.
I didn't get
Ariel Castro's file
because I didn't ask
for the former employees.
Ariel Castro?
[camera shutters clicking]
[Chiqui] Once you heard
the name,
you knew who it was,
I mean, if you're
from that area.
"Are you kidding me?"
I mean, I've seen him.
I've known him.
He's right down the street
from where I hung out a lot
and where I've been
by a million times.
I had an arrest
early in the morning.
And while I'm getting
the prints and photos,
I hear somebody say,
[speaking Spanish]
How are you doing?
What's going on?
And I turnover like this
and there he is.
And he's in a jail cell.
And he goes
[speaking Spanish]
How you doing?"
I said, "I'm okay." I said...
"How are you?"
And he goes, "Man, I really
[bleep] up this time. Huh?"
And I said, "Yeah,
how dare you do this
to these girls, ten years?"
And I said, "And Gina,
you've known Felix
for how many years?
We've known him
for how many years?
How can you do this?"
He said, "Well,
I'm a victim too."
I said, "How the hell
are you a victim?"
"Well, you know,
this happened to me
when I back in Puerto Rico
when I was a kid.
I was violated too."
And I'm standing
in the other cell saying,
"God, thank you
for these bars."
Because I'm trying
to be a policeman,
I'm trying to be somebody
who knows,
and I'm trying to be human.
Just all this stuff in my head
just spurting around like...
how many people
like to be two feet
from this guy right now?
I towed cars right in front
of that house with my partner.
And then when I find out
where it's at,
I said, "Are you kidding me?
I was on that street
in front of that house."
And they're in there and
I can't do nothing about it.
Tell me that doesn't hurt.
Hold on.
[announcer] Neighbors say,
they noticed something was off
when the former
school bus driver
became increasingly reclusive.
In the past 15 years,
police responded...
[Felix] It hit home when, uh,
when he got caught...
to know the person...
that did this
to your daughter.
Back in the day
before this happened to Gina,
I used to live two houses
down where he lived at.
And we knew his daughter
because that's the one
that Gina was hanging with.
I mean...
this sick person,
how could you...
I mean, I couldn't believe it.
[Dave] I felt that
it was important
for him to admit to us
during the interview that,
one, he took the girls
and then, two,
that he was involved
in some type of sexual abuses
of the girls over the years.
So what he admitted to
was he took them to his house
and then forcibly restrained
The other thing he admitted
during there
that he had sexual
which would constitute
a sex offense.
Ultimately, he was charged
with several hundred counts
of sexual assaults,
the physical abuses,
the kidnapping abduction.
And then he was charged
with murder,
and the terminations
of pregnancies for Michelle.
He should have just...
spent those years in prison
like he should have.
Unfortunately, he decided
to take the coward's way out.
[Dave] Within 30-31 days
of him being in prison...
he had hung himself
in his cell.
[Chiqui] How is that justice?
It was up to me.
I sure would have loved
to have seen him
do a thousand years in there
and pay every single day
he woke up for the nightmare
he put upon these three girls.
Despite being held like that,
these young girls
became these amazing women
despite the fact
that this evil
was holding them back.
And basically in cages,
they still defied that
and became amazing women,
each with their own
inspiring cool story.
You see her every day.
Please stop for just a second
and look at your TV.
You may know something
that can bring
this missing person home.
Amanda Berry joined
our FOX 8 family since then.
Every time Amanda's segment
airs the tip line lights up.
[Melissa] I look up to her
even more now.
She's doing the news.
She's raising her daughter.
Everything that
she's gone through...
that the resilience
that she has had...
that it's just amazing.
[Gina] This is my office
for the
Cleveland family center
for missing children
and adults.
We help families
navigate the media.
We teach them to always
do interviews
because what
if their loved one has a TV
and they could give them hope
to fight to come back home
to their parents.
I get to see
what families go through.
It's kind of like what my mom
and dad went through,
but it's like right there
in front...
I just want to help them.
[Michelle] I've been
actually doing
what they call art to heal,
where you paint a picture
that expresses
how you feel that day.
It can be anything.
It can be a pretty picture
of the sea.
It can be a pretty picture
of the night time.
My main focus in life
is my non-profit that travels
around the world...
helping women of abuse,
transition their life.
And it's so sad
that we had to go through
what we went through...
but it made us stronger.
It made us more powerful.
And I'm glad that we're out,
and we're alive now,
and we're doing good.