Cleveland kidnap victims say 'thank you,' maintain faith in God

Published: Tuesday, July 9 2013 2:35 p.m. MDT

Cleveland kidnap victims Berry, DeJesus and Knight release thank you video

Two months since they were found captive in a Cleveland home, the three young women who missed out on almost 10 years of their lives made their first public statement expressing gratitude and faith in God.

Amanda Berry, 27, Michelle Knight, 32, and Gina DeJesus, 23, each speak separately in a new YouTube video that was released by the women's public relations group.

"I want everyone to know how happy I am to be home with my family and my friends. It has been unbelievable," Berry said. "I want to thank everyone who has helped my family through this entire ordeal. Everyone who has been there to support us, it has been a blessing to have such an outpour (sic) of kindness."

Knight also expressed her gratitude and focused on her faith in God's plan for her even after her horrific trial.

"We have been hurt by people, but we need to rely on God as being the judge," Knight said. "God has a plan for all of us. The plan that he gave me was to help others that have been in the same situations I have been in, to know that there is someone out there to lean on and to talk to. I'm in control of my own destiny with the guidance of God."

DeJesus and her parents, Felix DeJusus and Nancy Ruiz, expressed appreciation for their community, specifically neighbors on whom they have relied while their daughter was missing.

"Parents in general who do have a loved on missing, please do me a big favor: Count on your neighbors," Ruiz said. "Don't be afraid to ask for their help because help is available."

Knight continued to be optimistic about what her future holds.

"I don't want to be consumed by hatred. With that being said, we need to take a leap of faith and know that God is in control," Knight said. "Be positive. Learn that it's important to give and to receive. Thank you for all your prayers. I'm looking forward to my brand-new life."

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

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