(CNN) — When officers arrived at Ariel Castro’s home in Cleveland, a crowd had formed on the porch.
But where was the woman they came for? Where was Amanda Berry?
Then she stepped forward, holding a crying baby. It was really her, the missing girl they had searched for for 10 years.
First responders honored in ceremony
Deborah Knight, the grandmother of kidnapping victim Michelle Knight, participates in a community balloon-release service in Michelle’s honor on Thursday, May 9, in Cleveland. Four females were found in a home on Seymour Avenue in the Clark Fulton neighborhood on Monday. Since then, the neighborhood and the nation have wondered how they were held captive without anyone noticing sooner.
Authorities say Ariel Castro held three women — Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. DNA tests confirmed that he fathered a girl born to Berry, who was among those rescued, the Ohio attorney general’s office said Friday. His house, third from left, is now a crime scene.
57-year-old Ronice Dunn moved into the neighborhood in 1984. For years after Berry and DeJesus disappeared, she joined in neighborhood vigils and prayer groups for their safe return.
A building sits boarded up on Seymour Avenue. The Clark Fulton neighborhood is beset by nearly double-digit unemployment, and one in every five houses is in foreclosure.
The media set up tents near Castro’s home.
Kinkel Avenue is a few blocks from Castro’s home.
The house of Onil Castro’s two sons, where he was staying when he was arrested on Kinkel Avenue. He and his brother Pedro were arrested along with Ariel Castro, but later were released and not charged.
“Why didn’t I notice anything? What should I have been looking for?” asked Mickie Wodgik, who spent years living across the street from Castro and, it turns out, the three missing women.
Around the corner from Seymour Avenue, graffiti is written on an abandoned building.
A street view shows West 25th Street, which runs perpendicular to Seymour Avenue.
Cynthia Conor, who has lived in the same house for 38 years, often drank with Castro and and his brother Pedro, she said. Her father trained Castro for his school bus job.
A man stands on Clark Avenue in front of painted buildings.
This boarded-up building sits across the street from Castro’s house.
Pastor Joe Abraham has ministered to many in this neighborhood for more than 25 years, including as the leader of Scranton Road Bible Church.
People hold balloons during a community balloon-release service in kidnapping victim Michelle Knight’s honor.
The Clark Fulton neighborhood
John Douglas on the mind of a criminal
Residents gather outside a community meeting at Immanuel Lutheran Church on Thursday, May 9, to talk about the kidnapping case in Cleveland. Balloons were released as part of the ceremony. Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight escaped on Monday, May 6, after being held captive for nearly a decade.
FBI agents and other law enforcement officers stand outside suspect Ariel Castro’s home in Cleveland on May 9. Castro, a former school bus driver, has been accused of holding three women captive for a decade in his house. He has also been charged with rape.
Castro hangs his head low while talking with his public defender, Kathleen DeMetz, during his arraignment on May 9.
Ada Colon prays during a vigil held in honor of the kidnapping victims in Cleveland on Wednesday, May 8.
Relatives of kidnapping victim Georgina “Gina” DeJesus hug after she returned to her parents’ home in Cleveland on May 8.
Friends and neighbors cheer as a car carrying Amanda Berry arrives at her sister’s house in Cleveland on May 8.
Gina DeJesus gives a thumbs up as she arrives at her family’s house in Cleveland on May 8.
Ariel Castro was charged on May 8 with kidnapping the three women.
The family house of Gina DeJesus has been decorated by well-wishers on Tuesday, May 7.
Friends and relatives gather in front of the family house of DeJesus on May 7.
Well-wishers visit the home of the sister of Amanda Berry on Monday, May 6.
Investigators remove evidence from the house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland where the three women were held.
An FBI forensics team meets outside the house where three women were held as they investigate the property.
An FBI forensics team member removes evidence from the house.
A relative of DeJesus brings balloons to the home of Amanda Berry’s sister in Cleveland on May 7.
Children hold a sign and balloons in the yard of Gina DeJesus’ family home in Cleveland on May 7.
Bystanders and media gather on May 7 along Seymour Avenue in Cleveland near the house where the three women were held captive.
A bystander shows the front page of The Plain Dealer newspaper to a friend outside of the house on Seymour Avenue on May 7.
Cleveland Deputy Chief of Police Ed Tomba, center, speaks at a news conference to address details of the developments.
The house where the three women were held captive in Cleveland was the home of Ariel Castro, who was arrested and is being held pending charges in the case.
FBI agents remove evidence from the houseMay 7.
A police officer stands in front of the broken front door of the house on May 7, where the kidnapped women escaped.
Neighbor Charles Ramsey talks to media as people congratulate him on helping the kidnapped women escape on Monday, May 6. He helped knock down the door after he heard screaming inside.
Amanda Berry vanished a few blocks from her Cleveland home on April 21, 2003. She was 16.
Georgina “Gina” DeJesus was last seen in Cleveland on April 2, 2004, on her way home from school. She was 14 when she went missing.
Michelle Knight was last seen on August 22, 2002, when she was 21.
Photos: Kidnapped teens rescued
It is Amanda Berry, Officer Michael Tracy said.
“Just the emotion at that point of my partner confirming that it was Amanda … It was overwhelming,” Officer Anthony Espada recalled.
Cleveland police this week released the emotional video interviews of officers Espada, Tracy and Barbara Johnson, who helped in the May 6 rescue of the three women from Castro’s home.
The 11-minute video, which is posted on YouTube, provides the most graphic detail to date of the harrowing rescue. It’s also a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse at the raw emotions of officers involved in the ordeal.
Once they had Berry, they wondered who else was in Castro’s home.
Was the suspect in there? They asked Amanda, as the baby continued to wail.
“She says yes, Gina DeJesus and another girl,” Espada said. “It was like another bombshell with overwhelming force hit me. We immediately started running toward the house.”
When they entered the home, it almost seemed peaceful, Espada recalled.
As if nobody else was there. Nobody was in the basement. Nobody was downstairs.
And then they heard the sound of scurrying feet upstairs.
“It was Michelle (Knight). She kind of popped out into the doorway,” Espada said, his voice cracking with emotion.
“She came charging. She was like. ‘You saved us. You saved us.’ And I am holding on to her so tight. And within a few seconds, I see another girl come out of the bedroom.”
Life in captivity for Cleveland women
He immediately recognized the girl, Espada said, probably from missing posters that date to 2004. But she looked thinner than he remembered. He asked the girl to say her name.
Gallek: Castro was so secretive
Attorney: Ariel Castro ‘is no monster’
Amanda Berry vanished a few blocks from her Cleveland home on April 21, 2003. She was 16. On Monday, May 6, she was found with two other missing women blocks from where she disappeared. Click through to see more miraculous stories of lost children who were found months or even years later.
Georgina “Gina” DeJesus was found on May 6 with Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight in Cleveland. DeJesus was last seen in the Ohio city on April 2, 2004, on her way home from school. She was 14 when she went missing.
Michelle Knight was the third of the three women who escaped from a captor’s house in Cleveland on May 6. She was last seen on August 22, 2002, when she was 21.
On June 5, 2002, when Elizabeth Smart was 14, she was abducted from her bed, raped and held captive for nine months by Brian David Mitchell. On May 25, 2011, Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison.
Natascha Kampusch, an Austrian woman, was held prisoner in a basement for eight years from the time she was 10. Her abductor, Wolfgang Priklopil, beat her up to 200 times a week, manacled her to him as they slept and forced her to walk around half-naked as a domestic slave after kidnapping her in 1998. Kampusch escaped in August 2006. Priklopil committed suicide shortly thereafter.
Eleven-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard was abducted in 1991 from outside her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. She was held by Phillip and Nancy Garrido in a hidden compound of sheds along with the two daughters to whom she subsequently gave birth. Dugard and her daughters were found in 2009.
Shawn Damian Hornbeck spent more than four years with Michael Devlin, passing as his captor’s son in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood, Missouri. Shawn was 15 when he was found in 2007 and reunited with his family.
Elisabeth Fritzl was imprisoned and raped by her father, Josef Fritzl, for 24 years. Fritzl lured his daughter into the basement in 1984 when she was 18 years old. She had seven of his children. She was released at age 42 after her ill 19-year-old daughter was taken to the hospital and police called the family in for abuse suspicions. In 2009 Josef Fritzl was sentenced to life in prison.
Carlina White was abducted in 1987 from a Harlem hospital room. She learned her real identity 23 years later after finding her case online. She contacted the police after finding a baby picture that looked like her baby pictures on a missing children website. She was reconnected with her birth mother in 2011. White said she’d never felt like she belonged to the family who raised her.
Steve Carter also discovered he was a missing person after an online search. He had been adopted at age 4 from an orphanage in Honolulu. At 35 years old, he heard about White’s case and clicked on Missingkids.com and found an age progression photo of himself as an infant. It came to light that biological father, Mark Barnes, reported him missing more than three decades ago after his mother, Charlotte Moriarty, took him for a walk and didn’t return.
Missing children who were found
She said her name was Georgina DeJesus, he recalled.
“It was very overwhelming,” Espada said. “It took everything to hold myself together.”
One of the women also jumped into Johnson’s arms, screaming at the female officer.
“She was saying ‘please don’t let me go. Please don’t let me go,’” Johnson said. “I said, ‘Honey don’t worry, I am not going to let you go.”
Johnson said Espada stared at her with an unreadable expression.
We found them, Espada said.
“I can’t even explain the emotions we felt,” Johnson said. “It was just unbelievable. It was surreal. The heaviness in the heart just lifted.”
Castro, 52, was arrested quickly after that. He is in jail on charges of kidnapping and rape, and is accused of snatching the three women between 2002 to 2004, and holding them ever since.
His attorney has said he plans to plead not guilty.