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Amanda Berry's father: Always knew daughter was alive

By Laura Halm
Published On: May 08 2013 08:28:04 PM CDT
Updated On: May 09 2013 03:19:59 PM CDT
KIDNAPPING VICTIM'S FAMILY SPEAKS ABOUT HOPE
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. -

The woman who broke free from her alleged captors and called 911 has roots in the Tri-Cities.

Amanda Berry's father and grandmother are from Elizabethton and say they're still trying to grasp how all three women survived for so long.

Family members of once-missing Amanda Berry can't stop watching the news as this story unfolds. "It's like a dream. I can't believe she's alive with what I saw. I can't believe that girl has made it for ten years," said Amanda's grandmother Fern Gentry.

Gentry's granddaughter went missing nearly ten years ago, believed to have been held captive inside a home in Cleveland, Ohio.

While a dream is now a reality, the family is left with questions. "How did she have the baby? No help, nobody? It's just hard for me to even think how they managed," said Gentry.

Amanda's father John Berry says he nicknamed his daughter Commando as a child, saying she was tough and he never gave up hope his daughter would come home. "I knew how good she was, how smart she was. If there was any way out of it she would find it," said Berry.

Berry says his daughter worked just two blocks away from home. She was last heard from April 2003 when she called her sister to pick her up from her job at Burger King.

Berry says it was the eve of her seventeenth birthday. "She came home from work the last I saw her, I was going out somewhere because they were setting up her birthday party for the next day. The next day she went missing, the day before her birthday party," he said.

While Berry says he hasn't been able to speak with his daughter much, he has one message in case she's watching. "I love the hell out of her and I'll see you as soon as I can," he added.

For those parents out there who may be in a similar situation and have missing children, Berry simply says to never give up hope and always keep your child in your heart.