May 8th, 2013
11:45 PM ET

Hornbeck's advice on life after kidnapping

Shawn Hornbeck vanished in 2002 in Missouri and was held captive for four years starting when he was 11 years old. When police found him in an apartment with another little boy who was missing, the discovery gave hope to Gina DeJesus' family.

The woman who was found on Monday in a Cleveland house with two other women, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight, had been missing for three years at the time. It would be six more years until her family saw her again, but they never lost hope she was alive.

Now DeJesus and the other women are free physically, but the trauma could be difficult to overcome. Hornbeck has been through a similar ordeal and wants other kidnapping survivors to know it's possible to heal and move on.

"From day one, my family was there for me to let me know that I was safe and I was OK and I had nothing to worry about anymore. And to me, that's what helped me out the most, was knowing that I had their support," he says.

Shawn's father Craig stresses the importance of not pressuring victims to open up about what happened to them in captivity until they're ready. He tells parents, "If they're not ready to talk about it, they may not even want to be around you, because they're afraid you're going to bring up something they're uncomfortable with."

Pam Akers, Shawn's mother, tells Anderson the reason the family is speaking out now is because they want to show that there's life after the nightmare is over. With time and the right kind of support, she says, "You can feel that love again. You can feel that trust."

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. babs

    how did Ariel Castro feed six people on unemployment from a bus drivers job? One young woman looks like she is 300 lb?
    I don't want to sound mean, but did he feed her when there are stories of starvation? where they given macroni and cheese to put on weight? No one in the family ever thought something was going on? How did he learn all these brain washing ideas? did he video cam the women on website for money?

    May 9, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  2. William Miller

    I think it is a mistake to seek the death penalty in cases like this, not because the people who do things like this don't deserve it, but because if they change their minds it may well prevent them from trying to correct their wrongs. There may be some few out there who still have people captive, who would consider letting them go if they were not fearful of being killed for it. Seeking the death penalty sends the wrong message and may well help to keep some missing people missing.

    May 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  3. Marisella Ortiz-Lowe

    Thank you Anderson for your honest reports, just my respect to Charles Ramsey and Angel Cordero one african-american the other an hispanic both heroes, ( both races so badly attack, still in 2013). Hope to see them in the program in November, and hope that the 911 person that got the call its out of that position, clearly he was just reading NOT willing to service, or help... shame on him...really i hope he was fired! and McDonalds give Charles a lifetime membership, please what its right its righ,t make him an honorary investor, please its only right.

    May 9, 2013 at 4:42 am |