In an exclusive interview with NBC’s TODAY, first lady Michelle Obama reacted to the shocking Cleveland, Ohio kidnapping case.
“My heart just… swells up with relief, because just imagine first losing a child and not knowing whether they’re alive or dead or in harm’s way,” Mrs. Obama said. “And to be holding out hope for a decade and to finally have those prayers answered is just probably the best Mother’s Day gift… that these families will receive.
Mrs. Obama added: “We’re just grateful that they’re safe. It is probably a parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child in any way, shape or form. But I am just happy for these families that they found their daughters and that they’re alive and safe.”
Gina DeJesus, 23, Amanda Berry, 27, and Michelle Knight, 32, were snatched separately from the same Cleveland neighborhood and kept chained in the basement of a house on Seymour Avenue for as long as 12 years.
The owner of the house, Ariel Castro, 52, and his two brothers were arrested on Monday. The brothers will be formally charged today.
Two of the women were taken while they were still in their teens. Knight was the first to be kidnapped at age 20 in 2002. Berry disappeared in 2003 at age 16, and DeJesus vanished in 2004 at age 14. Police say Knight, now 32, will need reconstructive surgery to her face after enduring years of brutal beatings at the hands of her captors.
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