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Kidnap Victim Amanda Berry Hailed as 'Real Hero' in Rescue of Three Women

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Three Girls Missing Nearly A Decade Found Alive

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Three Girls Missing Nearly A Decade Found Alive

Police todaylauded Amanda Berry as a "real hero" forbreaking free after 10 years of captivity and rescuing herself and two otherwomen held as prisoners in a Cleveland house.

Berry's bolt tofreedom Monday night revealed a shocking case of three women abducted as longas 11 years ago and held in a modest house where neighbors and relatives neversuspected anything was wrong.

Three brothershave been arrested in the case and are awaiting charges.

Police are unableto supply any details of what went on the house for past decade because theyhave yet to interview any of the victims or the suspects.

"We wantedto give them a day or two to decompress," Cleveland Police Deputy Chief EdTomba said, referring to the three women who emerged to freedom and theirfamilies after such extreme isolation.

Tomba said thewomen would be interviewed today and the suspects would be grilled onWednesday.

The cops do know,however, that it was Amanda Berry's bold escape that set the women free.

"The realhero here is Amanda. She's the one that got this rolling. We're following herlead," Tomba said at a press conference this morning. "Without her wewouldn't be here today."

Berry brokethrough a door with the help of a neighbor and called police on Monday evening.Within minutes, police were at the modest two-story home on Seymour Avenue.There authorities found two other missing woman, Gina DeJesus, 23, and MicheleKnight, 32 who were also abducted in separate cases years ago, just miles fromwhere they had each disappeared.

RELATED: Listen to Amanda Berry's 911 Call

A child, whompolice said was Berry's daughter, was also discovered.

"I believe,out of the three of them, Amanda's the key," chief said.

Neighbors saidthey heard cries for help coming from a house just before 6 p.m., and when theywent to investigate, helped kick open the door of the home to get the womenout.

Berry, policesaid, "broke out of the lower part of screen door" to freedom.Frantically, she called 911. "I've been kidnapped, and I've been missingfor 10 years," Berry told a 911 operator. "And I'm here. I'm freenow."

"Due toAmanda's brave actions, these three women are alive today," Tomba said.

All three womenwere taken to Metro Health Medical Center on Monday night where they wereexamined and reunited with their families. Berry and DeJesus was dischargedthis morning.

Tomba saidauthorities asked the hospital to keep Knight at the facility for another daybecause they "had some trouble locating family for her."

FBI sources tellABC News the victims are being cared for at an undisclosed location and an FBIagent has been assigned to each victim.

"This is theultimate definition of survival and perseverance," said FBI Special Agentin Charge Stephen Anthony. "Our prayers have been answered. The nightmareis over."

Police arrestedthree brothers in connection with the women's alleged kidnappings Ariel Castro,52, Pedro Castro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50.

READ MORE: 3 Women Missing a Decade Found Alive

The house wherethe women were held belongs to Ariel Castro, a Cleveland school bus driver whowas fired last year after being suspended several times. Police said they hadtwice been called to the house, once in 2000 and again in 2004, after the womenhad vanished.

Cops said Castrowas questioned in 2004 about leaving a child on a school bus after completinghis route and taking a lunch break. The incident was declared an accident andhe was not charged with any crime.

In recent yearsthey had dug up two yards in Cleveland looking for the women's remains.

Authorities saidthey had routinely received tips about Berry and DeJesus who disappeared asteenagers, but none had led them to the Castros. Berry went missing at 16 in2003 while on her way home from a job at Burger King. DeJesus went missing whenshe was 14, a year later while walking home from school.

Knight vanishedfirst in 2002, when she was 20 years old. She was considered a runaway and hercase received less media attention than the other women.

Police said theywere giving the women time with their families before beginning to questionthem about their time in captivity. A special team of investigators from theFBI, "child forensic examiners and victim-witness specialists" hasbeen brought in to question them today.

Amanda Berry Saved Herself, Her Daughter and Two Other Women

Police said they "had not yet determined" whether thewomen were sexually abused while in captivity, but Tomba said it was "goodpossibility" that one of the suspects had fathered the child.

"As of right now there is no indication that it's bigger thanour neighborhood," Tomba said when asked if there could be more women heldin houses other than the one on Seymour Ave. He said investigators would searchproperties that belong to the other brothers Onil and Pedro Castro.

On Monday evening, neighbor Charles Ramsey said that he was eatingMcDonald's at home when he heard a girl screaming and begging for help.

"I look and I see this girl and she's just going nuts on thedoor so, I'm like, 'What's your problem? If you're stuck, just open the door.'She said 'I can't, you got it locked,'" he said.

Ramsey said that their attempt to pry the door open failed, so heand his neighbor kicked open the bottom.

"Luckily … it was aluminum, it was cheap," he said,"And she climbed out with her daughter. ... She went to my house, wecalled 911."

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