We now know what two of the three kidnapped Cleveland women looked like as teenagers: pretty and on the lighter-skinned side. Why aren't there any photos of the third woman who was trapped alongside them, even though her mother says police have long possessed a copy?
Reporters have tracked the cases of Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus since the two teenagers seemingly disappeared into thin air within the same five-block radius almost exactly a year apart. Photos of the two girls' sweet, smiling faces have circled around the globe ever since the two were rescued yesterday. But another woman — then 20-year-old Michelle Knight — was in the house, too. Where's her photo?
Michelle's grandmother told The Plain Dealer that social workers and police convinced her family that Michelle had run away from home because she was angry that she had recently lost custody of her son. But Michelle's mother, Barbara, never believed her daughter would've left town without telling her. Barbara also said she gave police a photo of her daughter when she filed the missing-persons report the day after Michelle went missing in 2002 and is "disheartened" that it's not being circulated around like those of Berry and DeJesus.
The Plain Dealer also reports that Michelle — who had a mental condition according to her police report — had a hard life:
...trouble began when Michelle was 17 years old and told her mother that she had been the victim of an assault at school. Knight said her daughter reported the incident to police but felt that her story was not taken seriously.
Soon afterward, Knight became pregnant and decided to drop out of school. She dreamed of eventually completing her education to provide her son a better life.
But Barbara Knight said that among her own greatest regrets was becoming involved with an abusive man, whom, she believes, injured her toddler grandson — spurring a chain of events that led Michelle to lose custody of the child.
Michelle's mother also said she was frustrated "by a lack of information from city police" since her daughter had been rescued.
Why is Michelle allegedly receiving such drastically different treatment from the cops and media? On Twitter, rumors are flying that Michelle must be black, given that crimes involving white kids (and/or adults, too) get way more attention than those involving minorities.
We don't know what Michelle looks like yet — and it's worth noting that Gina seems to be Latina — but we do know that she was a young, single mother with a "mental condition" when she went missing, a demographic that isn't exactly Nancy Grace-friendly, so to speak. When will we find out more?
The report said Knight, who went by the nickname “Shorty,” has a mental condition that causes her to often be confused about her surroundings.
She was last seen at her cousin’s house at West 106th Street and Lorain Avenue. Standing at 4-feet 7-inches tall, Knight had been missing for two days when police were called.
Her grandmother said she didn't think she'd ever see Michelle again, and is now hoping for a happy reunion.
Image via AP.