Cleveland hostages thank public in new video
Three women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade are thanking the public for their support in a YouTube video.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight broke their public silence in the video posted late Monday, saying the encouragement of family, friends and the public has enabled them to restart their lives.
Former bus driver Ariel Castro has pleaded not guilty to a 329-count indictment alleging he kidnapped the women off the streets between 2002 and 2004 and held them captive in his two-story home.
"I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through this entire ordeal. Everyone who has been there to support us - it's been a blessing to have such an outpouring of love and kindness," Berry said. "I'm getting stronger each day, and having my privacy has helped immensely. I ask that everyone continues to respect our privacy and give us time to have a normal life."
"I would say thank you for the support," DeJesus said.
She was joined on the video by her parents, Felix DeJesus and Nancy Ruiz, who had a message for other parents.
"So people, I'm not just talking to people, but parents in general, that does have a loved one missing, please do me one big favor - count on your neighbors. Don't be afraid to ask for their help. Because help is available," Ruiz said.
Castro fathered a 6-year-old daughter with Berry and is accused of starving and punching Knight, causing her to miscarry five times.
"Thank you everyone for your love, support and donations, which help me build a brand new life. I just want everyone to know I'm doing just fine," Knight said. "I may have been through hell and back. But I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and with my head held high and my feet firmly on the ground."
Castro was arrested May 6, shortly after Berry broke through a door at the home and yelled to neighbors for help.
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