(RNN) – Reactions poured in Tuesday after three women who had been missing for as many as 10 years were recovered alive in Cleveland.
John Ryan, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, issued a statement expressing how thankful he was to see Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight.
NCMEC has seen a growing number of recoveries of long-term missing children," Ryan stated. "Every story we hear offers hope to the families who are still searching, that their own children will one day come home."
He said stories like the three women, Elizabeth Smart, recovered after nine months; Steve Carter, recovered after 34 years; and others were why they never forget any missing child. The NCMEC planned to honor Jaycee Dugard, a kidnapping victim reunited with her family after 18 years, at the 2013 Hope Awards on Tuesday.
Julio Castro, uncle of the three suspected kidnappers, said he was happy the girls were found. He also apologized that his family "had something to do with it."
"We're people of faith, and we have hope things can get back together for the families," Castro said. "I'm sorry about the girl's mother who passed four years ago; she passed of a broken heart because of her missing daughter."
John Walsh became an activist for crime victims after his son, Adam, was kidnapped and killed in 1981. The former host of America's Most Wanted spoke to CNN on Tuesday, calling the people responsible for these types of actions "disgusting."
"I've seen many of these guys that hide in plain sight, and they're control freaks," Walsh said. "This is their game. And they get away with it for years, until somebody observes something and tries to make a difference."
He credited Charles Ramsey, the neighbor who heard Berry's screams from the house, for being that difference.
"If Charles Ramsey had kept walking down the street, those girls might be in there forever until those guys - allegedly the abusers - got sick of them and may have killed them," Walsh said.
Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
WISTV License Subsidiary, LCC
1111 Bull St.