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May 14th, 2013
11:34 PM ET

Kidnapped and forgotten

Michelle Knight was 21 when she vanished in 2002. After 11 years, she was found in Ariel Castro's Cleveland house with Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. The three women were allegedly tortured, raped, and mentally abused by their captor.

While residents remember Berry and DeJesus disappearing, they aren't as familiar with Knight's case. One neighbor told CNN that people thought she may have left town; her family also thought that was a possibility. Because she was an adult, authorities may have assumed that too.

Cleveland police removed Knight's name from the FBI's missing persons database just 15 months after she was last seen. The FBI has said it couldn't find her mother and was unable to confirm Michelle was still missing.

According to the police report, Knight told officers Castro got her pregnant and then abused her as a means of aborting the baby. She said he starved her for at least two weeks then he repeatedly punched her in the stomach until she miscarried.

When Berry was pregnant with Castro's baby, Knight said she was forced to help with the delivery. If the baby didn't survive, then she would be killed. When the baby stopped breathing at one point, Knight did CPR and likely saved both their lives.

CNN's Randi Kaye reports that the DeJesus family has invited Knight to live with them so they can support her as she recovers from the abuse she endured for more than a decade.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Ally

    Gosh, you guys really don't read articles do you? My heart goes out to Michelle Knight. She was older than the other girls, 21 years old when she was kidnapped (not 11, Chuck), but that doesn't make her story any less horrendous. (Her's is actually the most horrendous, as far as what I've seen.) And the article doesn't say her family forgot about her, it says the community forgot about her. Other articles have said her brother was out of the picture before she disappeared, and out of contact with his family for many years, so he didn't know she'd been missing. I read one article that said he was there for her now. I hope that's true, if he can be a loving support for her. Her mother had moved out of state, and the FBI was unable to contact her to confirm Michelle was still missing (which I find horrendous that the FBI made no greater effort), so she was removed from their missing list. The mother has stated she's gone back to the area several times to post flyers. But since she wasn't in the area, she wasn't there to keep up the search like the other mothers were. Now, if it were my child (even if she was legally an adult), I would've stayed on it and never given up. But it sounds like this family had their problems already. Regardless, nowhere is it said the family forgot about her. Just that the public did. Poor girl. I hope she has all the love and support she needs around her now and can ignore all these comments about her family forgetting her when that's not necessarily the case. God bless her.

    May 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  2. chuck

    How can a family forget a beautiful 11 year old girl??? I hope this young lady starts the healing process and maybe some day can go on to live her life happily, our prayers are with her

    May 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Anita

      God bless you Michelle. We love you, care about and wish you to be healed, filled with joy and comforted. <3

      May 26, 2013 at 1:43 am |
  3. Angela Alber

    God bless the Dejesus family for taking in Miss Knight. She has been through enough, and then to find out she has been forgotten by her own family, this truly breaks my heart! My prayers go out to all the victims.

    May 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  4. Jay

    How can your mother/family forget about you? What kind of family does that?

    May 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Sheila

      You may not forget about someone, but sometimes family just fades away – my stepson, whom I raised from age 9 until his father died at 21, has moved, disappeared, been in jail, changed his residence state, had a baby... all without my knowing about it. Notice that Michelle Knight has no desire now to see her family, and they don't know where she is. She may have done this before the kidnapping as well – if someone makes a habit of dropping out of your life, you don't necessarily think they have been kidnapped.

      May 16, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Jan

      I don't think they forgot...seems like some bad issues there. She refuses to even talk to her mother now and went into hiding to avoid all of them. Some say the mother just came around because the girls all got a lot of donation money, too. There's no telling what went on, but that just makes what happened to her all the worse. Poor girl. I hope she can find peace and somebody to make her feel safe again.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:01 am |
  5. Linda McKay

    newspeople keep referring to the Castros victims as "women".. Does thisindic ate there will not be a charge of child rape agaainst Castro? At least one of the victims was a young teenager, so, please dont let them forget to charge child rape when charges are brought in.

    May 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Y Lee

      That's because they ARE women, but he will be charged with kidnapping, rape and abuse of a minor. I believe he will also be charges with murder for all the forcibly aborted babies and there is still the matter of a 4th victim that has been mentioned.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm |