Local parents of missing kids find hope in Cleveland rescue

May 8, 2013 7:51:22 PM PDT
The rescue of the three kidnapped women in Cleveland has had a profound impact on families in the Bay Area with missing children. Some of the families say they can't wait to hear the story of these three women because their rescue gives them renewed hope that their daughters are somewhere, listening.

The Misheloff family has posters of their daughter Ilene at the entrance to their home, on a window, and on their car. A yellow ribbon is regularly replaced. They have waited for 24 years. The story of the three Cleveland women rescued earlier this week has given Ilene's father Mike Misheloff hope.

"My first reaction is wow, they got away after ten years, and that reinforces our determination never to give up of finding Ilene," he said. She disappeared on January 30, 1989. She was 13 at the time and last seen walking on busy Amador Valley Boulevard in Dublin. "Maybe she heard about it and it will give her the strength of trying to escape," Mike said.

Sharon Murch is Michaela Garecht's mom. Michaela disappeared in 1988. She was 9. Murch says she'll never forget Amanda Berry's frantic 9-1-1 call. "All that went through my mind was those are the words I want to hear. I am Michaela Garecht, I'm free now," she recalled.

Murch says if those three women were held for ten years and Jaycee Dugard for 18, she believes Michela can still be alive. "If they can keep them for a month they can keep them for a decade or two decades. What is the difference?" she said. Murch has a blog at deamrichaela.com. On it, she writes to her daughter in the hopes that she may see it one day. She recently included the Cleveland kidnappings.

"I posted the video and said, 'Look at all those people in the streets cheering for these girls. This is what is waiting for you. You don't need to be afraid,'" Murch said.

Both families say they don't mind that reporters approach them every time there is a story of a kidnapping. In fact, they say the best hope of finding Michaela or Ilene is by keeping their stories in the media.


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