Three Ohio women who were snatched off the streets as teenagers 10 years ago thanked their supporters in a video released Monday.
Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, were kidnapped as teenagers and held for over 10 years in the dungeon of Cleveland school bus driver Ariel Castro, 52.
The three and a half minute video was posted to YouTube on Monday by a public relations firm, according to UK's Daily Mail. In the video, Berry, DeJesus and Knight thanked their supporters for giving them privacy after the girls were rescued on May 6. Berry had a daughter, now 6, while in captivity.
"First and foremost, I want everyone to understand how happy I am to be home with my family and my friends," Berry said. "It's been unbelievable. I'm getting stronger each day and having my privacy has helped immensely. I ask that everyone continues to respect our privacy and give us to time have a normal life."
DeJesus (pictured left) said only, "I would say thank you for the support."
Lupe Collins, a DeJesus family friend, said DeJesus was emotionally and mentally traumatized after 10 years in captivity, which left her almost mute. She speaks few words, even to family members, and is afraid to go outside.
Michelle Knight (pictured right) was considered to be a runaway by Cleveland police who stopped looked for her after her disappearance in 2002. She was the first to be kidnapped and the last to be rescued. Her aunt told reporters that Knight was viciously beaten by Castro and required facial reconstruction. Knight appeared to be the least phased by the ordeal.
Knight said, "Thank you everyone for your love support and donations, which helped me build a brand new life.
"I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and with my head held high and with my feet firmly on the ground," she said.
Knight added: "God has a plan for all of us. The plan that he gave me is for me to help others that have been in the same situations I have been in - to know that there is someone out there to lean on and to talk to. I am in control of my own destiny with the guidance of God."
Their PR firm, Hennes Paynter Communications, said the women weren't interested in speaking to the media or anyone else (probably a reference to Oprah Winfrey).
Each woman wore makeup and appeared to be healthy. DeJesus and Knight wore their hair cropped short. Both women suffered beatings by Castro who pulled their hair out by the roots.
Castro was taken into custody on May 6 along with his 2 brothers. Charges were later dropped against his brothers who were not involved in the kidnappings.
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Video courtesy of Hennes Paynter Communications