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Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus, Michele Knight Update: Police believe child found in home is Berry's daughter

These undated handout photos provided by the FBI show Amanda Berry, left, and Georgina "Gina" Dejesus. Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said he thinks Berry, DeJesus and Michelle Knight were tied up at the house and held there since they were in their teens or early 20s. Berry and the two other women who went missing a decade ago were found on Monday, May 6, 2013 elating family members and friends who'd longed to see them again. (AP Photo/FBI) Uncredited

These undated photos show Amanda Berry, left, and Georgina "Gina" Dejesus. Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said he thinks Berry, DeJesus and Michelle Knight were tied up at the house and held there since they were in their teens or early 20s.
AP/FBI

(CBS/AP) -- Officials said the child discovered in a Cleveland home is the daughter of Amanda Berry, who disappeared in 2003 and was found there Monday evening along with two other women who had been missing for ten years.

PICTURES: Ohio women missing for nearly a decade found alive

Berry kicked out the lower portion of a screen door to free herself from the home, Cleveland police officials said at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Berry was found at the home Monday evening along with Gina Dejesus and Michele Knight, missing since they were in their teens or early 20's.

Officials hailed Berry, who was able to free herself and call 911, as a hero. "Help me. I'm Amanda Berry," she told a 911 dispatcher. "I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm, I'm here, I'm free now."

Police responded to the home within two minutes of receiving the 911 call, officials said. Knight, who went missing in 2002, and Dejesus, who vanished in 2004, walked out of the home on their own to meet responding officers, police said.

"For Amanda's family, for Gina's family, for Michelle's family, their prayers have finally been answered," said Stephen Anthony, special agent in charge of the Cleveland office of the FBI. "The nightmare is over. These three women have provided us with the ultimate definition of survival and perseverance. The healing can now begin."

Anthony said that law enforcement and the women's family "never gave up hope" that they might see their loved ones again.

"As you can imagine, words cannot describe the emotion being felt by all," Anthony said. "Yes, law enforcement professionals do cry."

Three brothers have been arrested in connection with the disappearance. One of them, Ariel Castro, is believed to be the owner of the home, said Cleveland police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba. The two other brothers have addresses elsewhere in Cleveland, Tomba said.

Police said they believe they have the "people responsible" in custody, and charges are expected.

But many questions surrounding the women's disappearance and apparent captivity remain.

"We and our law enforcement partners will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with the Cleveland Police Department to answer the many questions we have," Anthony said. "The FBI will bring every resource to bear to bring the full weight of justice for those responsible behind this horrific, horrific case."

At the press conference, officials said they had no indication that anyone in the neighborhood knew about what was happening inside the home. However, police said they've had contact with Castro twice before.

Once, in March of 2000, Ariel Castro reported to police officers that there was a fight in the street, though there was no record of any arrest, officials said.

Then, in 2004, officials said Castro, a former school bus driver, left a child on his bus during his lunch break.

Cleveland police investigated and determined there was no "criminal intent" to his action. Police said they knocked on the door in January of that year but were unsuccessful in making contact with anyone inside.

Law enforcement officials said they pursued "any and all leads" in the case. Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said authorities must now work to sift through more than 10 years of logistical information and will continue to process the crime scene at the home.

"Most importantly, the victim's physical and emotional well being are our main concern," McGrath said. 

The women appeared to be healthy. They were taken to a hospital for evaluation and to be reunited with family members.

A neighbor reportedly said "I thought the home was vacant. I thought he would just come and check and see if everything is OK." referring to the home owner.

A neighbor, Charles Ramsey, told local news he heard screaming Monday and saw Berry, whom he didn't recognize, at a door that would open only enough to fit a hand through. He said she was trying desperately to get outside and pleaded for help to reach police.

Another neighbor, Ana Tejeda, 50, said she gave Berry her telephone so that she could call 911.

Berry disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King. About a year later, DeJesus vanished at age 14 on her way home from school. Police said Knight disappeared in 2002 and is now 32-years-old.

Berry is now 27, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Authorities didn't provide a current age DeJesus. They women were found just a few miles from where they had vanished.

Complete coverage of Ohio missing women on Crimesider

  • Erin Donaghue

    Erin Donaghue covers crime for CBSNews.com's Crimesider.

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