Homecoming: Gina DeJesus Gives Thumbs Up

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CLEVELAND- Gina DeJesus arrived home just before 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Gina, who was wearing a hooded shirt, gave a thumbs up as she exited the van and was escorted into her home on W. 71st St. for the first time in more than nine years.

DeJesus, now 23, was kidnapped in April of 2004 while she was walking home from school, and was rescued Monday from a nearby home along with Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight.

Many in the crowd were members of the media. Others were friends, neighbors and well-wishers.

Balloons decorated the chain link fence, along with a wall-sized missing persons poster of Gina, and a bigger sign that reads ‘welcome home Gina.’

Gina’s parents, Nancy Ruiz and Felix DeJesus, along with Gina’s aunt, Sandra Ruiz, came out and spoke to the media, thanking everyone for their support over the past nine years.

Gina’s parents urged people to watch out for our kids and to be vigilant and always ready to help someone in need.

They also asked for their privacy, and said when they are ready to talk more publicly they will let us know.

*Listen to Gina's family's emotional statements here*

Amanda Berry returned to her home Wednesday, amid a huge media frenzy, just before noon.

CLICK for continuing coverage.

Jessica Dabrowski May 8, 20133:40 pm

Gina DeJesus’ mom asks for patience from the public as press conference ends.

Jessica Dabrowski May 8, 20133:39 pm

“We thank Mr. Ramsey,” Nancy Ruiz says of the man who helped to break the door so the women could escape the Seymour Avenue home.

Jessica Dabrowski May 8, 20133:37 pm

Felix DeJesus talks about his faith in God.

Jessica Dabrowski May 8, 20133:35 pm

Felix DeJesus says the family wants to have a block party and close the streets down.

Jessica Dabrowski May 8, 20133:34 pm

Gina’s mom says she grabbed Gina and hugged her when she first saw her daughter and says it still feels like a dream.

Jessica Dabrowski May 8, 20133:32 pm

Sandra Ruiz says Gina was happy when she entered the house and wanted a tour.

Jessica Dabrowski May 8, 20133:31 pm

Sandra Ruiz, Gina’s aunt, steps up to the microphone to answer questions.

Jessica Dabrowski May 8, 20133:30 pm

“So if you need anybody to be 100 percent behind you, come to me. I’m the man,” Felix DeJesus tells the crowd.

Jessica Dabrowski May 8, 20133:30 pm

Felix DeJesus says his job is not done, he’ll become an activist “to help the rest of the kids.”

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:27 pm

Felix thanks the media: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:27 pm

Felix DeJesus talks about what a joyous day it is to have his daughter back

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:26 pm

Felix DeJesus: “I don’t know how they did it, but they did.”

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:26 pm

“I knew my daughter was out there alive,” Felix DeJesus says upon daughter’s homecoming.

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:22 pm

Nancy Ruiz thanking neighbors that watched over her

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:21 pm

Nancy Ruiz talks about what great courage Amanda had to help bring the three women home

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:20 pm

Gina’s mom, Nancy Ruiz, talking: “Thank you to the FBI for always believing me. And for police.”

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:16 pm

Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone talks about donations for the girls. Anyone who would like to make a donation, can send it to 1422 Euclid Ave., Suite 1300, Cleveland, Ohio 44105

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:12 pm

Sandra Ruiz: “We are asking for your support to be patient with us. Give us time and privacy to heal. When we’re ready, every single one of you, we will talk to you. Last, but not least, I’m asking God to watch over all of us and the family is asking that we, as a community, do not go retaliate against the family of the suspects of this crime. Let police do their job.”

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:10 pm

Sandra Ruiz, Gina’s aunt: “There aren’t enough words to express the joy we feel for the return of Gina, and Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight.. Now we need to rally together to look next door and bring our other family member, Ashley Summers, who is missing, home.”

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:09 pm

Sandra Ruiz is thanking many people and organizations for being there for them

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20133:08 pm

Gina’s family getting ready to talk

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20132:52 pm

A statement from a family member is expected shortly

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20132:43 pm

Gina gave a thumbs up as she got out of the van

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20132:43 pm

Gina’s father extremely emotional, hugging other family members and friends

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20132:42 pm

Felix DeJesus, Gina’s father, just got out of the van

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20132:41 pm

People chanting “Gina, Gina, Gina”

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20132:41 pm

Applause erupting on scene at Gina’s home

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20132:37 pm

Residents, media and police all waiting on W. 71st St. for Gina to arrive

Kara Sutyak May 8, 20131:59 pm

Gina DeJesus is expected to return home any minute now