Cleveland victim Michelle Knight's case prompts call for police review

(CBS News) CLEVELAND - The "welcome home" sign is still up at the home of Gina DeJesus, the same a mile away where Amanda Berry is staying with her sister.

But since Michelle Knight's release from the hospital, she's remained elusive. In a statement, she thanked the public for its support and asked for her privacy.

Since Monday's rescue, there've been questions, specifically about Knight, who was held captive the longest.

According to her file, she was reported missing by her mother in August 2002. Police investigated by calling the morgue, nearby hospitals and trying to get in touch with family members. Her file was also entered into the FBI's national police database, accessible by every police department in the country.

But, after 15 months, when officers couldn't contact Knight's family to confirm she was still missing, her file was pulled, which is protocol for the national database.

"It was announced that they found three women, they didn't even have a picture of her; it was just a silhouette," City Councilman Michael Polensek said.

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Polensek believes other missing-person cases may have fallen through the cracks and has called for an audit of all cases in Cleveland.

"Just think for a moment how many other people, young men and women, children, could be in likewise situations, could be, being held captive," said Polensek. "If that's not motivation enough, then I don't know what is."

Knight was 21 when she disappeared, and her family considered her a runaway. Cleveland's police chief, Mike McGrath, told us he believes his department did everything they could.

"The last nine years they've been diligently working on this case," said McGrath. "They've been living and breathing this particular case, so I have full confidence in the men and women that conducted this investigation over the years."

Cleveland police get about 2,700 missing person reports a year. Many of those people are found within a day or two, and those cases are closed, but the councilman told us there are still 107 open cases here in Cleveland that are still under investigation.

  • Terrell Brown

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