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Amanda Berry and Two Others Found Alive in Ohio


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The woman’s voice was frantic and breathless, and she was choking back tears. “Help me. I’m Amanda Berry,” she told a 911 dispatcher. “I’ve been kidnapped and I’ve been missing for 10 years and I’m, I’m here, I’m free now.”

Those words led police to a house near downtown Cleveland where Berry and two other women who vanished a decade ago were found Monday, elating family members and friends who had longed to see them again.

Authorities later arrested three brothers. They released no names and gave no information about them or what charges they might face. A relative said one of them is the homeowner, his nephew Ariel Castro.

Read more: http://nation.time.com/2013/05/06/2-women-missing-for-a-decade-found-alive-in-ohio/#ixzz2SbvAE69t

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Here is a CBC news story - High-profile cases of children who survived abductions


Included in that story is one with a local connection.

Back in March 1976 a 12-year-old girl Abby Drover from Port Moody went missing from her home.

Despite massive searches no trace of her was found.until 181 days later she was discovered in an underground bunker at the home of a neighbour Donald Alexander Hay who had kidnapped and sexually assaulted her while holding her prisoner. Hay had been one of the volunteers who searched for Abby.

Hay pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison in 1977. He was denied parole on several applications and died in prison last year.

As it turns out, Abby Drover was not, as Hay claimed, his only victim. Faith Gilpin and a friend had also been sexually abused by Hay. Gilpin later committed suicide. Three other women have since come forward to allege that Hay assaulted them in the 1970s and in 1999 Hay was charged for those crimes. The judge dismissed four of five charges against Hay, finding the Crown had reneged on a plea bargain made when Hay pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexually assaulting Drover. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Smith declared a mistrial on the remaining charge.

A British Columbia man who kidnapped and raped a 12-year-old girl in an underground bunker more than three decades ago is dead.

The Correctional Service of Canada said Monday that Donald Alexander Hay died Sunday at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon. The service said Hay, who was 79, died of natural causes following a lengthy illness at the institution's hospital.

Hay kidnapped Abby Drover in 1976 and held her prisoner for 181 days in an underground dungeon he had built under his home in the Vancouver suburb of Port Moody.

Despite a massive search, in which Hay participated, no trace of her was found.

She was discovered six months later after Hay's wife called police, fearing he had killed himself in his locked garage.

Police found Hay, his pants around his ankles, emerging from a garage cupboard that concealed the entrance to the underground room. Drover, wearing the same clothes she had disappeared in, followed him out.

The girl was often handcuffed and at times denied food and water during the her ordeal.

Hay pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison in 1977.

At a parole hearing in 2006, Hay claimed he thought he was helping the girl when he locked her in the bunker because he thought she was being abused. He blamed alcohol for his offences.

When Hay was up for parole in 2001, Drover said he should remain locked up.

"Please don't let him out," she pleaded in 2001. "I was always terrified to think of him being released and now, after hearing him speak, deny and still minimize his crimes, it horrifies me to think the day will ever come that he will walk free."

Drover, now a mother of five children, has spoken publicly about her ordeal as a way of supporting other child-abduction victims.


As mentioned she has chosen to speak out publicly:

Kidnapped at 12, now a mother of five, she makes a plea for 'the children who can't'

Harold Munro, with files from Mike Howell Vancouver Sun

Nearly 25 years ago, Abby Drover emerged ghost-like into the arms of stunned police officers after being confined for 181 days in the dank underground bunker of a sadistic Port Moody pedophile.

Now Donald Hay, the man convicted in the kidnapping and repeated sexual abuse of Drover, wants out of jail.

In a dramatic news conference, the first she has ever held, Drover said Thursday she is speaking out to focus attention on today's parole hearing for her abductor, and to sound the alarm over the recent spate of child abductions and attempted abductions in the Lower Mainland.

"The reason I'm here is because of the recent abductions that have been happening in the Lower Mainland and the abduction attempts," explained the 38-year-old mother of five, her hands trembling. "Something in my heart told me that I had to do something to help.

"I feel there is a reason that I have lived through what happened, and I can speak for those children that can't."

Nine-year-old Jessica Russell was abducted and murdered in Maple Ridge last May. Five months later, in a separate case, Heather Thomas, 10, disappeared from the parking lot of her father's Surrey apartment complex and was later found murdered. Lower Mainland police have also reported more than two dozen attempted child abductions since September.

In an exclusive interview with CBC TV, which aired Thursday night, Drover explained to senior producer Wayne Williams why she decided to give up her anonymity.

"It was a very difficult decision for me to make, but I felt it was more important to say something than to stay quiet," she said.

When Williams asked how she thought it would be for her when she returned to her community, she replied with a hint of nervous laughter: "I don't even want to think about how that's going to be...I'm quite nervous about that."

The abduction of Abby Drover in 1976 struck a chord with B.C parents like no other incident before it, says Vancouver police Sergeant Gord Elias of the victim services unit.

"It was a shocking crime that remains indelibly etched in our minds today," he said, "and it really started to change the way parents looked out for their children."

Drover said she is coming forward to urge other child victims and those who feel threatened to seek help through Police Victim Services of B.C.

The non-profit society wasn't around 25 years ago to assist her. But Drover says society volunteers have been tremendously supportive in recent times, particularly in preparation for today's parole hearing.

In the CBC interview, Drover said she had some help from the Port Moody police but didn't receive any professional help until almost 25 years after her ordeal.

"Luckily, I listened to some close friends and was advised to meet with victim services, and found that they're not only wonderful people, they're a wonderful organization. And I wish they were around 25 years ago."

She plans to attend Hay's hearing at Mountain Institute in the Fraser Valley.

"It will be the first hearing that I've been to," she told reporters.

Drover is not allowed to address the parole board today, but made her position clear at Thursday's news conference.

"I'm very worried about him getting out of jail and I'd like to make sure that he doesn't."

Drover testified last May at a trial in which Hay was charged with five counts, including rape, indecent assault and gross indecency, against three other children in the 1970s.

In a sensational turn of events, the judge dismissed four of five charges against Hay, finding the Crown had reneged on a plea bargain made when Hay pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexually assaulting Drover.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Smith declared a mistrial on the remaining charge because he ruled it was tainted by Drover's testimony.

On Thursday, Drover described being in a courtroom with Hay last year as "heart stopping."

One of the most horrific crimes in B.C. history began in March 1976, when 12-year-old Drover failed to return home from school.

Hay was a neighbour in Port Moody, a talented craftsman who built camper units for pickup trucks, but also had a serious drinking problem, consuming as many as three bottles of vodka per day in seedy downtown hotel rooms.

He confined Drover to a secret bunker no larger than a jail cell, accessible through a trap door in a work cabinet in his workshop

Drover's six months in captivity are detailed in the 1999 book Resurrection by former Province reporter John Griffiths.

At times raped by Hay, and at times left alone for days or weeks without food, Drover tried to escape into fantasies involving imaginary friends and eventually "living a happy life with a perfect husband and a dozen kids." Then she would be brought back to reality by the appearance of her captor.

As days turned to weeks and her story faded from public consciousness, Abby's world became ever more wretched.

"In retaliation [for not cleaning her cell]," Griffiths writes, "Hay announced he would no longer clean the chemical toilet, and the air became increasingly putrid. Abby already feared the huge spiders that crawled around her, and now other bugs started to infest the cell too."

Police rescued Drover in September 1976, when Hay's wife phoned for help, telling police she thought he might have killed himself in the garage, which was locked.

Police kicked down the garage door but found nothing, so left. Seconds after police drove away, Hay's wife called to say she had found him down a pit.

As police arrived, Hay climbed out of the cupboard with his pants around his ankles and tried reaching for a gun. Police tackled him. The two officers were shocked when a thin, ghostly form scrambled out of the cupboard. They realized it was Abby Drover, wearing the same clothes as when she went missing 181 days earlier.

The eerie postscript to a note written by Drover during her incarceration read: "P.S. If you find me dead, my killer was Donald Hay of 1601 Gore St. He kidnapped me on the morning of March 10, 1976. I also died [if so] after my 13th birthday."

Drover says now that she stubbornly drew upon "the strength inside all of us" to survive those six months.

Married with five children, including four stepchildren, she doesn't hesitate when asked about her greatest source of strength today.

"My family."

Former Vancouver Province reporter John Griffiths has written a book - Resurrection: The Kidnapping of Abby Drover


After being imprisoned in a five-by-six-foot underground cell in Port Moody, British Columbia, for more than two months, Abby Drover hid this note in the lining of one of her boots, assuming it would eventually be recovered with her dead body. Instead, Abby survived four more months of rape, starvation and psychological torture before she was dramatically rescued. Here, John Griffiths tells the incredible story of Abby's ordeal, the nationwide search that went on for her while she lay captive less than a half a block from her own home, and her courageous recovery.

Additionally, Griffiths explores the twisted mind of Abby's abductor, Donald Alexander Hay, a repeat sex offender Abby believed was a trusted friend. Covering Hay's recent bids for parole after more than twenty years in jail, the book raises important questions around prisoner rehabilitation, victim's rights and the very nature of justice.

Here is a book review:

Reaching back across 23 years into a windowless concrete cell, John Griffiths’ Resurrection recreates the kidnapping, sexual abuse, starvation, and six-month confinement of 12-year-old Abby Drover in Port Moody, B.C.

While the police and Drover’s family frantically searched for Drover, she was being held captive in an underground cell less than half a block from her own home. Her neighbour and abductor Donald Hay led search parties for Drover and offered support to her family. Unbeknownst to local police or members of the community, Hay was also a convicted sex offender.

This is a gripping story of real-life horror and suspense, written with Drover’s co-operation. While a certain momentum is lost once Abby escapes and begins her remarkable recovery, the book provides a depth of analysis often missing from victims’ tales by revealing information about her abductor’s motives and helping the reader somehow grasp the incomprehensible.

Griffiths’ straightforward journalistic style is a reflection of the years he spent with Vancouver’s Province newspaper, though hints of his outrage at Hay’s unsupervised passes from prison threaten his objectivity.

Even though some light is shed on Hay, the picture is still dim. Initially denying culpability, Hay gradually gained some understanding and acknowledgement of his crime and at one point said to a CBC reporter, “I’m just very, very sorry it had to happen.”

As it turns out, Drover was not, as Hay claimed, his only victim. Faith Gilpin and a friend had also been sexually abused by Hay. Gilpin later committed suicide. Three other women have since come forward to allege that Hay assaulted them in the 1970s. The new charges against Hay will be heard in the Supreme Court in Vancouver in November 1999.

Books on violent crimes can be either tawdry and titillating or illuminating. Resurrection falls into the second category by adding to our understanding of not only violence and sadism but also of human endurance and hope. It is a highly commendable work and makes for good reading. – by Cathleen Fillmore, a writer based in Nova Scotia.
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