US & Canada

Three US women missing for years found alive in Cleveland

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Media captionThe three young women who disappeared about a decade ago have been found alive in the US state of Ohio

Three young women who disappeared about a decade ago have been found alive in the US state of Ohio, police say.

Amanda Berry disappeared aged 16 in 2003, while Gina DeJesus went missing at the age of 14 a year later.

They and Michelle Knight, 32, who vanished in 2002 at the age of 20, were found in a house in the city of Cleveland, police confirmed. All are said to be in good health in hospital.

A 52-year-old suspect has been arrested in connection with the case.

In a frantic call to police, Ms Berry identified her captor as Ariel Castro, and said she had escaped after he had left the house.

Local news stations say Mr Castro is the man in police custody.

At least one of the women is reported to have a baby.

'Here a long time'

"I am thankful that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have been found alive," Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said.

"We have many unanswered questions regarding this case and the investigation will be ongoing."

A witness told local news stations that he had seen a woman holding a baby run out of a house, screaming for help.

"I heard screaming… And I see this girl going nuts trying to get outside," the neighbour, identified only as Charles, told NewsNet5.

"I go on the porch and she said, 'Help me get out. I've been here a long time.' I figure it was domestic violence dispute."

Crowds have reportedly gathered at the house where the women were being held.

Ms Berry was last heard from when she called her sister to say she would get a lift home from work at a Burger King restaurant.

In 2004, Ms DeJesus was said to be on her way home from school when she went missing.

Their cases were re-opened last year when a prison inmate tipped authorities that Ms Berry may have been buried in Cleveland. He received a four-and-a-half years in prison for the false information.