Michelle Knight ‘In Good Spirits, Grateful’
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The woman held longest of the three kidnapping survivors spoke out for the first time Friday.
Michelle Knight was held captive for years along with Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus — until they were rescued Monday.
Knight was released from MetroHealth Medical Center early Friday afternoon.
“Michelle, I miss you a lot,” said Freddie Knight, her twin brother. “I want to see you when you get better.”
That may happen sooner than later for Freddie. He and family members decorated the outside of her grandmother’s home, anxiously awaiting her return.
While he was able to see her briefly the day she escaped from Ariel Castro’s home on Seymour Avenue, he hasn’t seen her since.
“I love you, Michelle,” said Freddie. “Just let me know when I can come visit you again, because I really miss you and I want to be there for you.”
The 32-year-old woman was released Friday afternoon after being readmitted Tuesday. Relatives said she was physically OK, but was having a tough time dealing with the outside world.
Knight was allegedly kidnapped by Ariel Castro in 2002, and was the first of the three women to be held as a sex slave.
Police reports state that Knight was pregnant several times during captivity and was allegedly beaten by Castro until she miscarried.
Her childhood friend, Donikka Gonzales, said she last spoke to Michelle two months before her disappearance. She was one of many to drop off balloons, gifts and get well notes to Cleveland’s 2nd Police Precinct.
Gonzales said she and Michelle grew up together.
“She was talkative,” said Gonzales. “Very friendly.”
It’s still not clear if Michelle Knight has reunited with her mother, Barbara, or other family.
But MetroHealth released the following statement on Michelle’s behalf before she was released:
“Michelle Knight is in good spirits and would like the community to know that she is extremely grateful for the outpouring of flowers and gifts. She is especially thankful for the Cleveland Courage Fund. She asks that everyone please continue to respect her privacy at this time.”
Donations and gifts are still being accepted at the Cleveland Police 2nd Precinct on Fulton Avenue. Officers said they’ll be personally delivering all the gifts and donations to Michelle Knight.