Beth Serrano is asking the world for privacy and time for her family to heal just days after her long-missing sister Amanda Berry was rescued from her captor in Cleveland.
The 27-year-old Berry, 32-year-old Michelle Knight and 23-year-old Gine DeJesus, were held in captivity for close to a decade. The girls all went missing from the same street between 2002 and 2004, and were presumed by many in Cleveland to have been killed.
But after they were found this week, nationwide media attention has turned to Cleveland and media outlets have raced to uncover details about what the women endured for the last decade.
What they found is a terrifying scene, with the women held captive using ropes and chains, raped, and forced to abort pregnancies.
Beth Serrano is now asking for the world to take a step back. The sister of Amanda Berry, the first woman to break through and alert neighbor Charles Ramsey to phone police, spoke to reporters on Wednesday, thanking those who have supported the family but asking for time to heal.
In a statement to the media, Beth Serrano said:
“I just want to say we’re are so happy to have Amanda and her daughter home. I want to thank the public and media for their support and courage over the years. And, at this time our family would request privacy so my sister and niece and I can have time to recover. We appreciate all you have done for us throughout the past ten years. Please respect our privacy until we are ready to make our statements, and thank you.”
Both Berry and DeJesus arrived home on Wednesday to cheering crowds and yards filled with balloons. A police escort helped them navigate back to the homes they were taken from as teenagers.
Beth Serrano was not the only family member to address the media. Sandra Ruiz, the aunt of Gina DeJseus, also expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support the family has received.
“There are not enough words to say or express for the joy we feel for the return of our family member Gina,” Ruiz said. “We are asking for your support to be patient with us. Give us time and privacy to heal. When we’re ready, I promise you … we will talk to you.”
It was originally reported that Amanda Berry herself would address the media, but the remarks from Beth Serrano were the only ones on behalf of the family.