Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus Return Home to Cheers
Balloons and welcome home signs greeted the women as they arrived home.
May 8, 2013— -- Raucous cheers greeted Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus as they arrived at their homes today with police motorcycle escorts, marking their returns a decade after they were abducted separately as teenagers.
Gina DeJesus, 23, was wearing a hoodie as she was escorted from a car. DeJesus kept her face hidden, but her gesture, a thumbs up, said it all as she was hustled into her family's home.
DeJesus didn't speak much when she arrived home today but immediately bonded with her family members, her relatives told ABC News.
Her aunt, Sandra Ruiz, came outside the family home to ask for privacy.
"We are asking for your support to be patient with us. Give us time and privacy to heal," she said. "When we're ready, I promise you…we will talk to you."
Hours earlier, Berry arrived at her sister Beth Serrano's home with her 6-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, who was born on Christmas Day while in captivity.
Berry, now 27, and her daughter were ushered into her sister's house through a back door out of the view of cameras.
Her cousins stood outside, waving to the motorcade and wiping away tears.
Serrano asked for privacy for her sister as she readjusted to life outside of captivity.
"We are so happy to have Amanda home. We request privacy to recover," Serrano said.
The front porch and bushes of the homes were festooned with balloons and teddy bears and a phalanx of press out front.
"Remember this is Amanda's day. She is calling the shots... It's Amanda's rules today," Commander Thomas McCartney, of the Cleveland Police Department told reporters moments before her arrival.
Berry is credited as being the "hero" after she made a brave bolt to freedom on Monday with her daughter by her side. Berry's 911 call led authorities to the home on Seymour Avenue where she and two other women were allegedly kept for a decade.
Amanda's homecoming was something her family and law enforcement said they never stopped believing would one day happen.
"Hope is alive today and our dreams have been answered," McCartney said.
The original missing flyer showing Amanda and a yellow ribbon were tied to a tree outside the home.
Nearby was a sign that said, "Wish it. Dream it."
Berry's Call to Her Grandmother
Twenty-four hours after making an emotional call to police following her daring escape from 10 years of captivity, Berry made a far different call to family members in Tennessee to let them know she is "glad to be back."
The elation among family members and friends stretched well beyond the home where Berry, 27, and two other women -- Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michele Knight, 32 -- were allegedly held captive on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland.
Berry called her grandmother Fern Gentry of Elizabethton, Tenn., Tuesday to say that the little girl in the hospital photo is her 6-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, according to ABC News affiliate WEWS-TV, which was present during the call.
"Is the little girl your baby?" Gentry asked.
"Yeah, she's my daughter, she was born on Christmas," Berry said.
Many of Berry's relatives, including her grandparents and father, now live in Tennessee. Some of Berry's younger cousins only know her through pictures and stories told by other family members. Berry went missing at age 16 in 2003 while on her way home from a job at Burger King.
"I'm glad to have you back," grandmother Gentry said to Berry.
"I'm glad to be back," Berry said.
Berry's father, John, said he had a short conversation with her Tuesday and through his darkest days, he always knew his daughter was alive.
"I didn't think she was dead. No, never," Berry said. "Keep hope. Keep hope. Don't give up till you know because I never gave up."
Berry said he knew deep down in his heart that his daughter's "rough and tough" attitude would keep her alive. That's why he spent years putting posters up in every store window, knowing he would one day get that call.
His former wife, Louwana Miller, worked hard to bring their daughter home, pleading with authorities to follow every tip. Miller died in 2006 at the age of 43 after being hospitalized with pancreatitis. Berry suspects she died of a broken heart.
Berry, who is recovering from back surgery, finally received that long-awaited call from a Cleveland relative after his daughter broke through a door and bolted toward freedom.
"There's no way to explain. It's the best thing that ever happened to me. Best feeling I ever had," Berry said.
Michele Knight, who vanished in 2002 when she was 20, is expected to be released from the hospital later today. Knight's mother, Barbara, revealed that when her daughter disappeared, she filed a police report, but no one took her seriously.
"I had a caseworker tell me that maybe she doesn't want me to be involved with her life anymore," Knight told Cleveland's Fox affiliate WJW-TV.