(CLEVELAND) — Rescued kidnap victim Gina DeJesus has visited a hair salon for the first time in a decade, one of her first steps to recover physically and emotionally from her decade-long ordeal.
DeJesus, now 23, emerged last week along with Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight from Ariel Castro’s Cleveland home, where she was kept a captive for a decade, police said. DeJesus looked thin and pale and her hair was cropped closely to her head.
The only public appearance she has made since she was allegedly kidnapped by Castro, a fired school bus driver, was a brief appearance last week as she ran into her family’s home after being discharged from the hospital. She kept her face and head covered by a yellow hooded sweatshirt, but gave a jaunty thumbs-up to the cheering throng outside her family’s house.
DeJesus has ventured out, however, to a hair salon, sources told ABC News.
She also celebrated Mother’s Day with her family, with her mom cooking corn beef empanadas and “potato balls,” which are ground beef and potato rolled into balls and fried. It’s the first holiday DeJesus has seen outside of captivity since she was a teenager.
Since her abduction in 2004 when she was 14, her neighbors have seen her girlish face on an almost daily basis staring at them from missing person posters. But that photo does not reflect the ravages of her imprisonment.
None of the three kidnapped women have been seen in public since their release from a hospital last week. Also in seclusion is Berry’s 6-year-old daughter she had with Castro and delivered while in captivity. Berry and her daughter were photographed just once in the hospital, but have since slipped away.
Knight, abducted in 2002 and the first woman to allegedly be kidnapped by Castro, was kept in the hospital for several days after Berry and DeJesus went home to warm welcomes from their families and neighbors. Knight later was quietly discharged without even seeing or notifying her family.
Her captor appears to have singled Knight out for particular abuse, according to a police report obtained by ABC News.
When Berry became pregnant, Castro allegedly told Knight to help Berry during labor, and was provided with a kiddie swimming pool to keep the mess to a minimum.
“Michelle delivered the baby and Michelle stated that Ariel told her that if the baby died, he’d kill her,” the police report states.
Castro, 52, has been charged with kidnapping and rape. He has yet to enter a plea. Calls to his attorneys were not returned.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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