After nearly a decade of Mother’s Days without her daughter, Nancy Ruiz is finally celebrating with her child by her side.
Her daughter, Gina DeJesus, was among the three girls recently rescued from what is being called a Cleveland house of horrors. Now 23, DeJesus was kidnapped by accused kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro when she was 14 while walking home from junior high.
Calling this, according to wire services, “The best Mother’s Day….ever,” she discussed celebrating the day with her daughter after years of hoping her child was still alive. Since her capture DeJesus was allegedly held in Castro’s basement along with two other victims: Amanda Berry, 27, and Michelle Knight, 32.
Berry was the one who finally broke free, racing to a neighbor’s home and calling 911. Sadly, however, the day is bittersweet for Berry as her mother passed away during her captive years; she is however celebrating her own first Mother’s Day as a free woman. Berry bore Castro’s child, who is now six and has been homeschooled by Berry herself all her life.
Prosecutors have currently filed four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape against Castro. The former school bus driver is being held on $8 million bond and may also be facing murder charges for inducing Michelle Knight’s multiple miscarriages by beating and starving her. The charges may lead to the death penalty.
As for his mother, according to the Daily Mail, Lillian Rodriguez has said she had met what she now knows is her biological grandchild but did not know about her son’s alleged victims.
“I am sorry for what my son has done,” she recently stated in Spanish through her car window while attempting to drive away from a crowd of press. After apologizing for her “sick” son’s actions, Rodriguez plead for the rescued girls’ forgiveness and then declared she is, “A mother in a lot of pain.”
While the Cleveland community has rejoiced over the women’s rescue, not all of the women are reuniting with their family. Michelle Knight has reportedly refused to see family, according to UPI. Her grandmother states she was believed to be a runaway when she disappeared in 2002 due to the custodial loss of her son.
All of the women, through a spokesperson, have thanked the community but have requested privacy while they heal, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Thank you so much for everything you’re doing and continue to do. I am so happy to be home with my family,” Berry says in the statement.