Cleveland kidnapping latest: Police find chains in house where three women including Amanda Berry were held captive for a decade

 

The suspects in the Cleveland kidnapping are expected to be charged today as the investigation into their imprisonment for a decade continues.

Details emerges as investigators spoke to local media, revealing that the women were tied up in the house at 2207 Seymour Avenue. "We have confirmation that they were bound, and there were chains and ropes in the home,” said Michael McGrath, chief of Cleveland Police. The three women, he added, "were released out in the backyard once in a while, I believe".

Amanda Berry disappeared on her way back from work, the day before she turned 17.

Early on, her mother, Louwana Miller, was teased by glimpses of hope. Days after Amanda’s disappearance, a man using her phone called the family and told them: “I have Amanda. She’s fine and will be coming home in a couple of days.” Ms Miller died from heart failure in February 2006, her daughter’s whereabouts still a mystery.

She had done her utmost to keep the case in the public eye, appearing on TV and holding annual vigils on her daughter’s birthday. She even turned to a psychic on The Montel Williams Show in 2004, who told her: “She’s not alive, honey. She’s not the type who wouldn’t call.” Friends claimed it was this encounter that finally crushed her. Thirteen months later she was hospitalised with pancreatitis, three months after that she, too, was gone.  “She died of a broken heart,” Dona Brady, a city councillor who knew the family, said.

The Berry case and that of Gina DeJesus were familiar to anyone who lived on Cleveland’s West Side.

Gina’s father, Felix, was similarly haunted after his 14-year-old daughter vanished, returning home night after night to conduct his own search, refusing to believe she could not be found and raging at a system that he believed had done too little to help.

Both families would eventually be told that the police were searching for their loved ones’ remains. Last summer a prison inmate falsely claimed Amanda Berry was buried under a vacant Cleveland lot; Felix DeJesus was told in 2006 that  Gina’s body was thought to be  hidden under a sex offender’s garage.

The case of Michelle Knight never had quite the same resonance; she was older when she went missing and her grandmother was quoted by local media saying that she believed Ms Knight had run away. But her mother, Barbara, continued to search, handing out flyers on the  West Side even after she had moved away to Florida.

Cleveland is the primarily blue-collar town with blue-leaning voters that helped secure Ohio for Barack Obama during the 2012 presidential election. While the West Side is poor, the city’s East Side is studded with huge homes, a testament to Cleveland’s history of prosperity through manufacturing and, latterly, finance. But crime is a problem – although Cleveland is America’s 47th biggest city by population, it is the country’s 11th worst on the crime charts. Two of its central neighbourhoods were among ABC’s 25 most dangerous places to live in a 2010 national survey. But like many downtrodden neighbourhoods, the West Side remains a close community. One man, John, who was living there when the three victims disappeared, told the BBC: “This is a miracle. I recall the ominous pall that fell over this tight-knit community when... Amanda and Gina went missing. It was assumed that a serial killer was possibly running amok.”

Another Cleveland resident, Tristan, said: “I was only 13 or 14 when I heard about these girls disappearing. Every year or so the families would go on the news and beg for information. It’s sad that one of their mothers died a few years ago, never knowing they would be found alive.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
i100
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

Systems Developer Technical Lead

£65000 - £70000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Energy Engineer

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy En...

Techincal Accountant-Insurance-Bank-£550/day

£475 - £550 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Technical Accountant-Insuran...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment