CLEVELAND – After being held captive for 10 years in Cleveland, Gina DeJesus is back home with her family. Gina arrived to her west side Cleveland home at 2:42 p.m. to a cheering crowd of hundreds lining the streets.
Her homecoming was emotional to say the least.
Gina’s father, Felix DeJesus, hugged family and friends while pumping his fists with a huge smile across his face. Moments later, Gina exited the van she was escorted home in and gave a thumbs up to the crowd as she walked inside, wrapped tightly in a family member’s arms.
“Do not go retaliate against the family and suspect of this crime,” said Sandra Ruiz, Gina’s aunt. “Because we are all God’s family, we forgive them (Ariel Castro, Pedro Castro, Onil Castro). But we won’t forget. They will have to respond to the high and mighty.”
Sandra asked the media to support the family by “giving us time and privacy to heal. When we’re ready, we will talk to you…There are not enough words to say or express how we feel about the return of Gina and Amanda and Michelle.”
Nancy thanked the men who helped Amanda Berry escape and praised Berry for her courage. “Because of that, these three young women are at home.”
“I have a high and mighty God to give me the strength to fight and see this day,” said Felix. “Too many kids these days come up missing. We always ask the question, how come I didn’t see it? Why? Because we chose not to. As a community, you have to come out and watch the kids, even though you aren’t their parent.”
Felix never gave up searching for his daughter and never lost hope. He thanked everyone who stood beside him over the past decade.
“I had heart and soul to fight to see this day because I knew my daughter was out there alive,” said Felix.
The first thing Gina did was ask for a tour of the home. “She’s happy, ecstatic to be home,” said Sandra.
“I just grabbed (Gina) and hugged her. I didn’t want to let go. I still feel as if it’s a dream. I still pinch myself,” said Nancy. “There’s no word to describe the beauty of just seeing them. This is the best Mother’s Day I could ever have.”
“Now I become an activist to help find the rest of the kids who are missing. I’m the man who will be beside you,” said Felix.
Nancy wanted the crowd to know her daughter never let go of her faith. “She prayed to God and spoke to Him like I did.”
Gina, along with Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight, were rescued from a house of horrors on Seymour Avenue on May 6.
Knight remains at a local hospital.
Three brothers, Ariel Castro, Pedro Castro and Onil Castro, have been arrested in connection to the heinous crimes. The trio is expected to be charged Wednesday afternoon.