Missing in Cleveland, Ohio Part 1 of 2

14 May

Over the past week International news has spread about Cleveland, Ohio.  Three women and a child were found alive after missing for a decade.  It was their sheer determination, motivation, and strength that helped them survive the torture over this duration.

Sad fact, false reports keep law enforcement from doing their job. This limits resources and compromises safety of the public as they chance leads that are unwarranted.  Yet, those who make false reports are rarely charged.  Could this be partially to blame why these women in the middle of a crowded city were not found earlier? Overworked law enforcement?

Surviving torture

Congratulations to these women for survival of these horrendous crimes that started with kidnapping and imprisonment within a private residency by their assailant without being exposed to fresh air, sunshine, or any weather elements we take for granted on a daily basis.  They survived the heartbroken loneliness of love and support of their families and friends they knew.

They were so strong to form a sisterhood or family and endured what they needed to survive through brainwashing and sexual assaults in Cleveland, Ohio.  It’s simply incomprehensible!  “Found alive” after missing for so many years is a miracle.  Prayers have gone out from many over the years.  This is proof that miracles do happen and the power of prayer is unmeasurable.

21 - Cleveland, Ohio

21 – Cleveland, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They all appear physically healthy, but as expected they will need ongoing therapy. Over the past decade two of the kidnapped victims families have rallied for support of their loved ones.  They were passionate for their cause of missing children.  As a resident near Cleveland we all watched as one of the mother’s died from a broken heart during her struggle to find her daughter.

Their pleads to find their loved ones were heard by everyone, including the missing children, now adults.  The two teenage girls names and photos appeared in the media several times a year since their disappearance. No one ever gave up hope.  As these young woman watched the media attention, they were reassured no one gave up hope for their return.

The third woman was never mentioned. She may have become the mother figure to at least one of the two teens simply by age and life experiences. Her disappearance is touching and her reappearance is extraordinary!


What really happens in America when a teen is missing and a young adult missing? Certainly everyone was shocked to hear of her disappearance. It’s difficult to imagine what that does to one, let alone what they have already been through. She never saw her name in the media, like the other two women but her inner strength helped her get through this ordeal all the same.

Media coverage of these women being found alive brought back memories and sparked conversations with childhood friends.  As most the readers know I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and have lived 25 miles south of Cleveland until one year ago, relocating for healthcare and because of false accusations.

Sometimes things happen closer to home then we expect and we can easily identify with many faucets of history making we’d rather not know. The three missing teens (young women now) were taken from an area we walked past daily when attending Wilbur Wright Junior High School for three years.  Also the same school one of the survivors was walking home when she went missing.

There really were few if any red flags!  Rather then rehash what the media has revealed it’s time we all think about things we’ve done during this time in our lives.  These girls did nothing wrong.  Criticism can be found in any circumstances, but you never know what you would do until you are in that situation.


Supporting these women we all know the brightest of teens could easily be persuaded to go against their better judgement.  Their judgement wasn’t poor, as at least one teen knew the suspect … and that’s trust! Violating trust is difficult to rebuild!   Trust is a basic instinct that provides security as young children.   No one should be suspicious of everyone, and everything in their life … that’s paranoia!

These young women were obviously very intelligent.  They had excellent survival skills. None suspected danger.  If they did, they would not have fallen victim to such crimes.

Have you ever been in a situation that others would think you’d never respond the way you had? These young women were all approached with deceptive ideations by their captor, and their basic instincts of trust lead them into the path of criminal behaviors for over a decade.

Trust will forever be shattered, but they will rebuild one piece at a time.  This situation has sparked many conversations and brought back memories of times past.  One person mentioned “something was wrong when no one answered the door”.

Many people do not answer their door.  If you are not expecting someone, many feel someone dropping by without appointment or contacting the homeowner is an invasion of privacy or inconsiderate.  For that reason they simply do not answer the door.

To answer or not answer … a personal experience

On the other hand, as a very young child my siblings and I learned to never answer the door.  We would run, hide and be silent!  That’s what we learned and that’s what we did.  We did that whether mom and dad were home or away and no one answered the door. They rarely left us alone.l  

On one occasion someone was on the front porch banging on the door and windows and none of us moved.  They were shouting to open the door.  All five of us stayed quiet, hiding, and a bit frightened.  We never answered the door, but there is something to say about numbers.  Five children that could run, hide, and be silent together is a gift!    

The people on the porch shouting and banging on the windows happened to be mom and dad.  We did not let them in!  We did not know who it was, but we were told to NEVER let anyone in!  That’s exactly what we did!  We had this routine down well … run, hide, and silence!  I bet they were proud of us, but mad at the same time!

Anyway, this points out that a “no answer” at the door does not mean suspicion.  It’s a right and as much as we know that the police were knocking at the door where these three young women were being held captive they were not there because they believed or even knew the women were there.  They were knocking at the door for totally unrelated issues.

If anyone is interested in donations to these young women there is only one legal fund at this time.  Cleveland Courage Fund has been set up to help. Click on the link below:

**********All material presented on Brain Injury Self Rehabilitation (BISR) is copyright and cannot be, copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Edith E. Flickinger, BSN RN. 



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