Gina DeJesus Family: Suspected kidnapper attended vigils for mis - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Gina DeJesus Family: Suspected kidnapper attended vigils for missing girls

Reporter Lydia Esparra with family of Gina DeJesus Reporter Lydia Esparra with family of Gina DeJesus
Gina DeJesus Gina DeJesus

The family of Gina DeJesus never for a moment gave up hope she would be found.

Reporter Lydia Esparra has become quite close with the DeJesus family over the years while covering Gina's disappearance, and shared in their joy when Gina was found safe and sound on Monday.

Gina disappeared in 2004 at the age of 14 as she walked home from school.

Her family never lost faith, and always knew Gina would return home. 

19 Action News has learned Gina is with her parents in a secluded location.

Gina's brother, Ricky, can't stop smiling since seeing his sister for the first time in nine years.

"I was joyful. I was glad I got to hug her." 

"Did she seem different?" asked Esparra.

"Still the same as the day she went missing when she was 14," Ricky replied. 

Family members say DeJesus knew the man suspected of kidnapping her and holding her captive for nearly 10 years.

Family members tell Esparra that Ariel Castro was a relative of DeJesus' best friend, possibly her father.

He's also been to at least two vigils for the missing girls.

"I'm angry. I'm mad right now," said Gina's cousin, Robert. "He involved himself. He was more, like, a step ahead of us through this whole process. But we got him." 

Copyright 2013 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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