Abduction stories don’t usually end the way three did on Monday in a Cleveland neighborhood. Three teenagers, kidnapped at different times, were found together a decade later, alive in the same house. Miracles are rare, and the rescue of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus qualifies as one of them.
Knight was reported missing in August 2002. She was 19. Berry disappeared in April 2003 walking home from work. She was a day shy of 17. DeJesus, 14, never made it home walking from school in April 2004. All had disappeared within a five-block area on Cleveland’s west side.
Over the years, family vigils have kept the girls and other missing persons on the public mind. Too often, though, it is stories such as the gruesome discovery in 2009 of missing women buried in the Imperial Avenue house of Anthony Sowell that become a family’s worst nightmare.
Berry’s desperate break for freedom with a neighbor’s help made sure that this case did not end as so many others have. The incredible turn of events and the outpouring of joy at the rescue must lift the spirit of many — including the family of 19-year-old Taylor Robinson of Akron who has been missing since Friday — clutching at hope that their missing relatives and friends also will be found alive and safe.
Details of what the young women have endured in a decade of captivity will emerge soon enough. And with the arrest of the homeowner, Ariel Castro, and his two brothers, so, too, will answers as to how he managed to deflect any suspicion while holding the women captive in a city neighborhood.