(CLEVELAND) — Three young women who vanished a decade ago near their homes in Cleveland were found only miles from where they disappeared, and three men have been arrested in relation to the incident, according to police.
Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michele Knight were found alive, and Cleveland Police Commander Keith Sulver said all three women were getting medical treatment but seemed to be in good condition.
“All of them are doing well. They all look good,” he said. “They’re all talking. They’re aware of everything that’s going on, and we’re just very happy that they’re safe and in good condition.”
Dr. Gerald Maloney with Metro Health Medical Center said Monday night that the women were safe and that the hospital was evaluating their medical needs, and how long they’ll stay. The spokesman confirmed that the women are in fair condition at the moment.
“This isn’t the ending we usually get,” Maloney said. “We’re very happy, very happy.”
The victims are being examined for possible abuse at the hospital, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
Police confirmed to ABC News affiliate WEWS-TV that one of the men taken into custody is 52-year-old Ariel Castro. Police have not released the names of Castro’s brother but said they were 50 and 54 years old. Charges were expected to come within the next 36 hours.
Police have not said how the women were found, but neighbors said they heard cries for help coming from a house, and when they went to investigate, kicked open the door of the home to get the women out.
Neighbor Charles Ramsey said that he was eating at McDonald’s when he heard a girl screaming.
“I look and I see this girl and she’s just going nuts on the door so, I’m like, ‘What’s your problem? If you’re stuck, just open the door.’ She said ‘I can’t, you got it locked,'” he said.
Ramsey said that their attempt to pry the door open failed, so he and his neighbor kicked open the bottom.
“Luckily … it was aluminum, it was cheap,” he said. “And she climbed out with her daughter. … She went to my house, we called 911. When the police got here, she said there are three more girls up there. And that’s when Gina DeJesus [came out], and they brought two more girls out.”
On a 911 call released Monday night, Berry can be heard asking police for help.
“Hello police help me I’m Amanda Berry,” she said in the call. “I’ve been kidnapped and I’ve been missing for 10 years and I’m here. I’m free now. … I’ve been in the news for the last 10 years … with Gina.”
Ramsey said the women looked malnourished when they came out of the house.
“They look like they haven’t been fed in a long time … They were skinny when they came out of that house,” he said.
Ramsey told ABC News that he was shocked when police told them whom he had rescued.
“He said, ‘Do you know who you just rescued out of the house?’ I said brother, ‘a couple of females.’ He said no, no, no. ‘You got Amanda and you got Gina,'” Ramsey said.
Zayda Delgado, a neighbor, told ABC News that she knew one of the women who was discovered.
“It’s an unbelievable day. I’m still like in shock,” she said. “They were found together and for Mother’s Day. … This is great.”
Delgado said Berry’s mother died in 2006.
“I feel bad because the mother died never knowing that her daughter was still alive,” she said.
Berry disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, the day before her 17th birthday. She had called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King, according to WEWS-TV.
About a year later, DeJesus, who was 14 at the time, disappeared on her way home from school.
Knight, who was 21 at the time she disappeared, was last seen leaving her cousin’s house on Aug. 23, 2002.
Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson responded quickly to the news of the discovery of the women.
“I am thankful that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have been found alive,” Jackson said. “We have many unanswered questions regarding this case and the investigation will be ongoing. … I am thankful that these three young ladies are found and alive.”
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