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Gina DeJesus shares story of survival at Northeast Ohio Amber Alert conference

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 7:18 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Gina DeJesus’ story brings tears to your eyes.

The 32-year-old survived the unthinkable.

Back in 2002, DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight were kidnapped and held prisoner for more than a decade inside Ariel Castro’s home on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland.

All three ladies escaped the “house of horrors” in May of 2013.

“I had to learn a lot since I came home, I take it day by day,” said DeJesus.

Since she’s been home, DeJesus shares her story in hopes of inspiring others.

On Thursday, she spoke at an Amber Alert conference that was held in Independence.

During that time, DeJesus got a chance to speak with Beth Holloway, whose daughter Natalee, went missing in Aruba in 2005.

“I know that her story. She’s still missing and it’s somewhat taking me back to when I use to see old interviews of my parents. So, I know it’s kind of rough but I hope one day she comes home,” said DeJesus.

DeJesus dedicates most of her time to helping people who have missing loved ones.

In 2018, she opened the Cleveland Family Center for Missing Children and Adults.

Her headquarters is actually right around the corner from where she was held captive.

“I feel like why should I run from Cleveland,” said DeJesus. “If I can’t do it here, why would I be able to do it somewhere else and if I can do it here, especially on West 25th and Seymour, right where I was held captive. If I can be on that street then so can anyone else.”

DeJesus encourages people to reach out to her organization if they need help.

She knows firsthand how important support is during dark and scary times.

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