News broke Monday night that Ohio police found two women who vanished as teens a decade ago, but there was a third woman found whose disappearance got less attention.
Most of Michelle Knight’s family thought she’d taken off on her own because back in August 2002 when she was 18, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. (Other news outlets have reported she was 21 when she disappeared.)
Based on what police and social workers told them, Michelle’s family believed she’d left because she was upset that she’d lost custody of her son. Only her mother, Barbara Knight, believed she’d been kidnapped, the Plain Dealer reports.
Police eventually stopped searching for Michelle, but Barbara kept papering the city of Cleveland with fliers. She eventually moved to Florida but kept going back to Ohio to look for her daughter even though the FBI apparently never got involved with the case.
She just didn’t think her daughter would leave without even calling.
The disappearance of Michelle Knight stands in contrast with the disappearances of the two girls she was found with: Amanda Berry, now 27, and 23-year-old Gina DeJesus.
Berry was only 17 when she disappeared in 2003, and DeJesus was 14 when she went missing a year later. Police got leads on the cases over the years, and just last month Cleveland residents held a rally where DeJesus was last seen.
Barbara, who hadn’t seen her daughter when the Plain Dealer interviewed her, feared she might have been misidentified.
“I’m praying that if it is her, she will come back with me so I can help her recover from what she has been through,” Barbara told the Plain Dealer. “So much has happened in these 10 years. She has a younger sister she still has not met. I missed her so much while she was gone.”
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