Rescued Cleveland women ‘happy and safe,’ attorneys say
(CNN) — Three women who were rescued this month after allegedly being held captive in a Cleveland house for close to a decade “are happy and safe,” and overwhelmed by the public’s support, their attorneys said in a statement released Wednesday.
Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Georgina “Gina” DeJesus “want you to know they’re doing well,” the attorneys’ statement reads.
“They are happy and safe and continue to heal, a process that requires time and privacy,” attorneys Kathy Joseph, Heather Kimmel, Henry Hilow and James Wooley said.
Berry, 27; DeJesus, 23; and Knight, 32 — and a 6-year-old daughter born to Berry in captivity — were found alive on May 6 in a Cleveland home, police said. The women are believed to have been abducted years ago — in 2002, 2003 and 2004 — and held captive at the home of Ariel Castro, 52, according to police.
Castro was charged with kidnapping and rape after Berry escaped from the home with the aid of neighbors, authorities said.
The attorneys said that the outpouring of public support — including donations to the Cleveland Courage Fund, which the lawyers say will be used to establish trusts to aid the three women and Berry’s daughter — “has been nothing short of remarkable.”
“To have complete strangers offer loving support in the form of money, goods and services, reaching out to help like a family member, is appreciated in ways that are impossible to put into words,” the lawyers said. “Amanda, Gina and Michelle, who have asked for nothing, are frankly overwhelmed by it all.
“You have touched their hearts in ways they will never forget. So again, they collectively say ‘Thank you. Thank you so much!’ “
The fund has collected a total of $650,000 from more than 6,800 donors, according to Hennes Paynter Communications, which is representing the women.