American aid worker Jessica Buchanan was held captive in the Somali desert for 93 days. Her captors were heavily-armed pirates who initially demanded a $45 million ransom. She describes the harrowing ordeal and dramatic rescue to Anderson Cooper in an in-depth interview.
In her last "proof of life" call to her family on January 16, Buchanan told them she had an infection and urgently needed medication to survive. For months she had become weak from exposure to the elements and little food or clean water. That call set in motion the rescue operation that would end her nightmare.
Buchanan says she had no idea anybody knew where she and her Danish colleague were being held. She never imagined President Obama was aware of her imprisonment and location.
When officers arrived at Ariel Castro's home in Cleveland, a crowd had formed on the porch.
But where was the woman they came for? Where was Amanda Berry?
Then she stepped forward, holding a crying child. It was really her, the missing girl they had searched for for 10 years.
It is Amanda Berry, Officer Michael Tracy said.
"Just the emotion at that point of my partner confirming that it was Amanda ... It was overwhelming," Officer Anthony Espada recalled.
Cleveland police this week released the emotional video interviews of officers Espada, Tracy and Barbara Johnson, who helped in the May 6 rescue of the three women from Castro's home.
It's also a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse at the raw emotions of officers involved in the ordeal.
At 8 p.m. ET tonight, Randi Kaye has a heartwarming story about a man reunited with his best friend, a pit bull named Junior, after the Texas tornadoes. Jerry Shuttlesworth wasn't sure if he would ever see his dog again. The two were separated in the powerful winds.
Like Junior, hundreds of pets were left homeless after the storm. A local shelter has been trying to connect them with their owners, but it's a difficult task without cell phone service and many residents displaced.
The National Weather Service said at least 16 tornadoes are responsible for the deadly force that completely destroyed homes and buildings in North Texas. At least six people lost their lives.
In late 2011, American aid worker Jessica Buchanan and a Danish colleague were abducted in Somalia and held captive for 93 days. With negotiations failing and her health declining, President Obama gave the go ahead for a dramatic rescue lead by the U.S. Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six. Tonight on 360, Buchanan and her husband recount her harrowing abduction and amazing rescue. They also share their remarkable story in the new book “Impossible Odds.”
“I felt like I was in the most impossible situation,” Buchanan told Anderson. Her kidnappers were Somali pirates who had moved their operation from sea to land. The pirates were high from chewing khat, a plant that acts as an amphetamine-like stimulant. They demanded $45 million in ransom. The pirates kept asking how could her family not have the money. She says she constantly told them, “I’m just an aid worker.”
According to Buchanan, the most terrifying pirate was an 11-year-old boy. He was walking around with a machine gun and draped in ammunition. “He followed me and terrorized me through the whole ordeal.”
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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