Berry Family Friend Still Hopeful Teen is Alive

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CLEVELAND -- Thursday was an agonizing day for family and friends of Amanda Berry as they wait for word on whether she is buried in an empty lot on Cleveland's west side.

"I just remember how beautiful she was and how she took care of her room. Every shoe was in place; she wanted to be a designer and did good in school. I don't want nothing bad, I don't wanna think about her in the ground," said family friend Terry Sanchez.

She says the family has been suffering ever since Amanda disappeared from Cleveland's west side nine years ago.

"They're holding up, they have support from each other and they have other family members," Sanchez said.

Sanchez says she called two of Amanda's aunts to offer support soon after learning that investigators were digging for the 17-year-old's remains, believed to be buried in a vacant lot near West 30th Street and Wade Avenue.

"My heart sank to be honest with you, you know, and I know if someone's gone, the family needs closure, and I just want to know that she's out there somewhere," she said.

Sanchez says the latest news has been hardest on Amanda's young nieces, nephews and cousins, but the family holds out the same hope that she does.

"I'm always hoping and wishing that something's gonna come up, where she's out there somewhere and alive," said Sanchez.

But she says just in case the search ends up in the worst way possible, she purchased a butterfly at the scene.

"I hope I don't have to put that on the site. I hope she's coming home; that's my main thing, hope, and if it does have to go there, she'll be set free," said Sanchez.

*Click here for additional coverage on the Amanda Berry investigation.

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