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Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight Update: 'I knew my daughter was out there alive,' says DeJesus' father

Gina DeJesus Cleveland home is decorated with balloons and signs, May 8, 2013. CBS

Gina DeJesus' Cleveland home is decorated with balloons and signs as she returns home Wednesday.
CBS

(CBS) -- Wearing a bright green sweatshirt with a hood pulled over her head, Gina DeJesus was ushered into her home Wednesday afternoon, giving a thumbs-up sign.

PICTURES: Ohio women missing for nearly a decade found alive

DeJesus, who went missing in 2004, was found along with two other long-missing women, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight, in a Cleveland home Monday. Police responded to the home after Berry kicked out a screen door to escape and called 911.

DeJesus arrived to cheering crowds and signs reading, "Welcome home Gina."

"There are not enough words to say or express the joy we feel for the return of our family member Gina," said DeJesus' aunt, Sandra Ruiz. "And now, Amanda Berry, the daughter, and Michelle Knight, who is our family now also."

Ruiz also called for the safe return of Ashley Summers, who disappeared from the same Cleveland neighborhood in 2007.

"I'm the one that kept us a family together. I'm the one that had the hardest role, to fight to see this day," said Felix DeJesus, Gina DeJesus' father, as the crowd cheered. "Because I knew my daughter was out there alive. I knew she needed me. And I never gave up, never gave up searching for her."

Ruiz and Felix DeJesus thanked the community, the media and law enforcement. DeJesus vowed to become an activist to advocate for missing children. 

Media swarmed the homecoming as family members cried and embraced. DeJesus' father, Felix, pumped his fist in the air.

The owner of the home, Ariel Castro, has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping. The three women were allegedly bound and kept captive in the home. Castro reportedly helped search for DeJesus and attended a vigil in her honor.

Earlier Wednesday, Amanda Berry returned to her sister's home, also to a crowd of cheering supporters.  "

Complete coverage of the Cleveland kidnapping on Crimesider

  • Erin Donaghue

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

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