Women kidnapped, held in Cleveland home ask for privacy, time to heal

The victims of a Cleveland house of horrors are pleading with the public for privacy and time to heal amidst a deluge of requests from the media, as well as an outpouring of offers to assist them from around the world.

“There is a pending criminal investigation, and prosecution,” said attorney Jim Wooley Sunday on behalf of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight.

“It is not in the best interests of anyone connected with that proceeding for Ms. Berry, Ms. DeJesus, and Ms. Knight to be making statements to the media while that proceeding is pending.

“Second, and most importantly, Ms. Berry, Ms. DeJesus, and Ms. Knight have asked – in fact, have pleaded – for privacy at this time so that they can continue to heal and reconnect with their families.”

Wooley added that anyone wishing to contribute to the victims should specifically work with the Cleveland Courage Fund.

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    Meanwhile, the spokesman issued statements on behalf of the women with Berry stating, “Thank you so much for everything you’re doing and continue to do. I am so happy to be home with my family.”

    DeJesus reportedly said, “I’m so happy to be home and want to thank everybody for all your prayers. I just want time now to be with my family,” while Knight added: “Thank you to everyone for your support and good wishes. I am healthy, happy and safe and will reach out to family, friends and supporters in good time.”

    Berry, DeJesus and Knight disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004 and were found Monday after Berry escaped and screamed for help and contacted police. Cleveland man Ariel Castro is now charged with abducting and raping the three women, binding them with ropes and chains in his home and only allowing them out a few times in disguise.

    Prosecutors have also said they plan to pursue murder charges against Castro, related to the as many as five miscarriages he induced after impregnating Knight.