Where is Gina DeJesus? Cleveland woman once kept captive for 9 years, is robbed at gunpoint by carjackers
Gina DeJesus was rescued in 2013 after she was kidnapped in 2004. On May 13, she became the victim of another violent crime after armed carjackers held her at gunpoint
A Cleveland woman, who was once abducted and held hostage for nearly a decade, recently became the victim of a carjacking and robbery.
In 2004, Gina DeJesus was kidnapped and held captive till she was rescued in 2013 by law enforcement officers, according to the FBI's website. On Thursday, May 13, she became the victim of another violent crime. The male suspects pulled up in front of her car and ordered her to get out of the vehicle at gunpoint, Fox 8 Cleveland reported citing local law enforcement and the FBI.
The Cleveland Division of Police is now seeking the public's help in locating the suspects as well as Gina's silver 2015 Toyota Camry, in which they drove away from the scene. Fox 8 reported how the carjacker stole her purse, credit card, and her key fob.
Speaking to Fox 8, Cleveland Missing -- a group DeJesus helped create to highlight 'missing person' cases -- said they were "happy to report that Gina is unharmed and in good spirits despite the events that took place." The incident is currently being investigated by the FBI's violent crime task force and Cleveland Police, as per the outlet.
Gina DeJesus' abduction
DeJesus was just 14 years old when she was kidnapped by Ariel Castro, a friend of her father, in Cleveland, Ohio. On April 2, 2004, she was reportedly walking home when she was abducted by Castro. She was held against her will for nine years, alongside two other abductees, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight.
The trio was freed from custody nearly a decade later on May 6, 2013. Berry and DeJesus graduated from high school two years after their release, and the latter was given the quinceañera she never had, ABC News reported.
Where is she now?
Now 31, DeJesus is the co-founder of the Cleveland Family Center for Missing Children and Adults -- an organization dedicated to providing families with what Gina DeJesus’ family needed when she went missing.
Gina's cousin and co-founder Silvia Colon told WKYC how they were given no resources to find the then-teenager. The family frantically printed out flyers, with DeJesus' mother handing out one of them directly to Castro.
“We begged for everything, and I mean everything,” Colon told the station last year. “We didn’t have any resources, and nobody was offering them, so we had to figure out a way to win.” The station reported how one of the fliers reached Gina.
“My mom gave [captor Ariel Castro] a flyer, and he brought it back to me. And he gave it to me... I don’t know. It didn’t hurt me, or make me depressed or anything, it just gave me a different kind of hope, like my mom is still out there looking for me,” Gina said. “I put it away in my folder, and I’m like, I’m going to give this to my mom one day.”
Gina and Amanda Berry shared their own experiences in a book titled 'Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland' published in April 2015. The book went on to become a No 1 New York Times Bestseller.
“The most inspiring part of the Amanda Berry story is that she created a little school in the house on Seymour Avenue,” Washington Post journalist Mary Jordan told News 5 Cleveland. She and fellow WaPo journalist Kevin Sullivan were the ones who helped Berry and DeJesus write their book.
The memoir was described as "a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of two women whose courage, ingenuity, and resourcefulness ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families.”