CLEVELAND -- Life had returned to normal for Beth Serrano, the sister of Amanda Berry, who disappeared from Cleveland’s west side in 2003.
Serrano’s world turned upside down after authorities notified her last week that a former neighbor was claiming he killed Berry and disposed of her body in a small lot on West 30th Street. Serrano told Fox 8 she was relieved authorities failed to find any sign of her sister.
"I'm grateful it's not her because I still have hope and I can still pray that my sister is coming home," she said.
It's been nine years since Serrano first learned her 17-year-old sister, Amanda, was missing.
"Until I have a definite answer I'm always gonna believe that she's out there, she's gonna come home, and I will see her again one day," she said.
Serrano said after police told her they would be excavating an empty lot on West 30th street after receiving what they considered a credible tip from an inmate at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, left her feeling numb.
"[I] don't know how to feel at the moment, till you have something laid in front of you, yes or no," she said, trying to explain her mixed emotions over needing closure, but needing her sister even more.
Robert Wolford, 25, was brought to the lot early Friday morning wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and shackles. He told authorities he dated Berry, who disappeared the day before her 17th birthday while walking home from work at a nearby Burger King. He claimed he killed the teenager and buried her body. When authorities found nothing after their search, Serrano took it for granted Wolford's story was made up.
"To lie, and not understand what we're going through, you're getting nothing out of it, what was the purpose?” she wondered out loud.
A source close to the case told Fox 8 investigators are still talking with Wolford and another individual who was arrested Friday on a warrant, unrelated to the Berry case. A spokesperson for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason confirmed "The matter is still under investigation."
Serrano said her mother died of a broken heart after Amanda's disappearance. The 33-year-old mother of three said she refuses to allow her own emotions to get the better of her; for Serrano, giving in means giving up, something she refuses to do.