Cleveland Kidnap Victim Disappears after Hospital Discharge

Michelle Knight kidnapping


Amanda Berry and her daughter have been reunited with their family.  So, too, has Gina DeJesus returned home to her loved ones.  But the third victim of the kidnapping in Cleveland by Ariel Castro, has disappeared after her release from the hospital.

Michelle Knight was the third young woman rescued after a ten year long kidnapping.  She was kept in ropes and chains, and reportedly beaten.  She also suffered five miscarriages.

Ms. Knight met once with her mother while in the hospital, but when she returned with flowers in hand, she was turned away.  Barbara Knight now lives in Naples, Florida, and was anxious to be with her daughter.

Barbara Knight “came up here to be with her daughter, to help her daughter, to hug her daughter, to help her heal, and she’s been stonewalled right down the line … It’s abhorrent,” Attorney Jay Milano told ABC News.

Deborah Knight, Michelle’s grandmother, told local station WOIO-TV that her face had been badly beaten, and may have to undergo facial reconstructive surgery.

Knight, who is now 32 years old, was considered a runaway over 10 years ago when she disappeared.  The search for her was abandoned after 15 months, and she was removed from the FBI’s missing persons list.

At present her whereabouts are unknown.  A source close to the investigation told CNN that she “is in a safe place and very comfortable.” The source did not specify further.

Cleveland’s MetroHealth Medical Center hospital spokeswoman Tina Shaerban-Arundel said Knight was in good spirits when she left the hospital Friday, and was very grateful for all the flowers and well wishes.

Although Milano, Barbara’s lawyer, claims the hospital “stonewalled” her from seeing her daughter, it was Michelle herself who asked the staff to restrict all visitors, including family.

Deborah, the grandmother, heard a rumor that she had gone to the home of Gina DeJesus.

“Right now it’s too overwhelming knowing she’s released and possibly I might get to see my granddaughter again,” Deborah Knight said. “We haven’t spoken to her or seen her. This will be the first time since she disappeared.”

But, Michelle was not at the DeJesus home.

Michelle was the first of Castro’s captives.  She was taken on August 23rd, 2002 when she was just 20 years old.  There were major campaigns to find Berry and DeJesus, but because of Michelle’s age and the family situation, she was commonly considered as a young woman who chose to ‘disappear’.

Her captor appears to have singled Knight out for particular abuse, according to a police report obtained by ABC News affiliate WEWS.

Police reported that Castro ordered Michelle to deliver Berry’s baby in a child’s wading pool.  He threatened her with death if the baby died.  At one point the baby, named Jocelyn, stopped breathing.  Frightened for herself and the child, she gave her mouth to mouth resuscitation, possibly saving both their lives.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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