(Cleveland) - A combination rally and neighborhood get-together was held on Seymour Avenue to mark the anniversary of the Cleveland Rescue.
It was one year ago that Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus escaped 10 years of captivity inside Ariel Castro's house. Castro pleaded guilty last august and soon after committed suicide in prison. His house was torn down.
Residents mingled with one-another and shared picnic food on Castro’s former land. Police showed their support with Captain Keith Sulzer urging community members to work closely with investigators as they continue to search for about 100 people still missing in Cleveland.
Activists like Laura Cowan explained that domestic violence, captivity, and human trafficking are problems that need to be addressed nationwide. Cowan and her children were kidnapped in California and were held for 6 months in a garage before they were rescued by police.
She went on to create the Laura Cowan Foundation, and works with the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Also attending the rally was Janice Smith, who says she is filled with joy each time she speaks with her niece Gina DeJesus.
Even after a year, Smith says she has to pinch herself to realize Gina is alive, after vanishing for a decade.
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(Photo by Ken Robinson/WTAM)