Former kidnap victims Smart and Dugard comment on rescued Cleveland women

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Amanda Berry, who was kidnapped in 2003 and who escaped from house in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo credit: FBI/AP)

Amanda Berry, who was kidnapped in 2003 and who escaped from house in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo credit: FBI/AP)

Elizabeth Smart overjoyed to hear of women

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Elizabeth Smart says she’s overjoyed to hear about the happy ending for the Cleveland women who escaped Monday after being missing a decade.

Smart said Tuesday on ABC’s Good Morning America that the ordeal highlights the importance of the public staying alert and vigilant. She advised the women to focus on moving forward and let go of the past. Smart says it’s also important for others to respect the privacy of those women as they recover from the decade-long ordeal.

Smart was kidnapped from her bedroom in Salt Lake City when she was 14. She was freed nine months later when she was found walking with her captor on a suburban street in March 2003.

Dugard: Cleveland women need opportunity to heal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Kidnapping survivor Jaycee Dugard says the women who went missing about a decade ago and were found at a Cleveland home need a chance to heal and reconnect with the world.

In a statement released Tuesday through her publicist, Dugard said the human spirit is resilient, and the case reaffirms that people should never give up hope.

Dugard was abducted from a South Lake Tahoe, Calif., bus stop in 1991 at the age of 11 and held captive for 18 years in a backyard, where she gave birth to two children conceived by rape.

She wrote a best-selling memoir in 2011, “A Stolen Life,” which recounts her years in captivity.

Police in Cleveland said the three women who vanished a decade ago were found Monday. Authorities later arrested three brothers, ages 50 to 54. Authorities suspect the women were tied up and held at the house.

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