CLEVELAND — It was an emotional day on West 129th Street after Amanda Berry, 27, was taken to her sister’s house after a decade in captivity.
“I just want to say we are so happy to have Amanda and her daughter home,” said Amanda’s sister, Beth Serrano.
Serrano spoke briefly outside the home after police officers and the FBI escorted the family to the house.
“I want to thank the public and the media for their support and encouragement over the years,” said Serrano. “At this time, our family would request privacy so my sister, niece and I have time to recover.”
Initially, Amanda was going to give a brief statement outside but authorities said she changed her mind. After she was swept inside, through a back door around noon, no one was seen coming back out.
Only a few family members and friends were allowed to enter. Some were seen gathering the dozens of gifts left on the front porch for Amanda’s 6-year-old daughter, whom she had while locked-up in a Cleveland home.
“We appreciate all you have done for us after the past 10 years,” said Serrano. “Please respect our privacy until we are ready to make our statements.”
The FBI encouraged everyone to stay away from the home, which was still surrounded by police officers on Tuesday night. They also thanked the community for their support.
“It’s a miracle,” exclaimed one person who gathered along the sidewalk to see Amanda.
Another woman said she couldn’t stay home anymore and watch the coverage. She came to the house to say a prayer.
Amanda’s sister has had a missing person sign on a tree outside her home for years. It was still there on Tuesday night.
Amanda and two other women were freed from a Cleveland home on Monday. Amanda, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michele Knight, 32, had all been missing for approximately a decade.