Kidnap victim shuns family: Michelle Knight refuses visitors

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   May 10, 2013 at 3:15 PM   |   Comments

May 10 (UPI) -- For Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and their families, Monday was a day of joy and relief.

After nearly 10 years held captive by Ariel Castro, they, along with Michelle Knight, were finally free.

But while Berry and DeJesus have returned home to celebration and fanfare, Knight remains hospitalized, refusing all visitors, including her family.

Barbara Knight, Michelle's mother, was denied admission to her daughter's room at MetroHealth Medical Center, and has obtained a lawyer to get access, WKYC Cleveland reported.

"Barbara just wants to be a part of the healing process," said Jay Milano, attorney for Barbara Milano.

Although Michelle Knight has made no comment on her decision to bar her mother from visiting.

For a number of reasons, Knight's case received less public attention than the others.

The city of Cleveland, which has come under fire for its handling of the rescue of the three women, removed Knight's missing person entry from the FBI database 15 months after she first disappeared in 2002, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

City spokeswoman Maureen Harper said police followed proper procedures by making a good-faith attempt to contact Knight's mother to verify she was still missing, but were unable to reach her.

However, according to the Plain Dealer's investigation, the written policy on investigating missing adults should have required an officer must verify in person that the missing individual had been found.

Barbara Knight contends the FBI did not give the same attention to her daughter's case as they did with Berry's or DeJesus's.

But Harper provided police reports documenting the efforts to follow up on Knight's case after her entry was removed from the database in November 2003.

"No new info available at this time," the detective wrote on Nov. 13, 2003. "This report will remain invalid until new leads develop."

The Plain Dealer notes "half a dozen similar notations throughout the rest of the file."

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