Cleveland abduction survivor Michelle Knight shared a heartbreaking open message to her long lost son Joey to mark his 22nd birthday.
The first to be abducted by Ariel Castro back in 2002, Michelle had been on her way to a custody hearing for her son, who had been the custody of the state, on the day she was kidnapped.
As depicted in the Lifetime film Cleveland Abduction, Michelle reportedly attempted to reunite with Joey after finally escaping from Castro's home in 2013, but has not yet been able to meet him. You can watch the trailer for the film adaption here:
It is understood that, after recovering from her abduction, Michelle made attempts to reunite with her son, who was only two years old when she first went missing.
In an interview with Good Morning Britain back in 2020, Michelle said: "If it wasn’t for my son being out there and hoping to come home to him I don’t know what I would have done.”
However, Joey had since been adopted by a foster family who, according to Michelle, are not willing to share the details of his birth mother with him or let him meet her.
Just last year, Michelle, who now goes by Lily Rose Lee, shared a post to Twitter to wish her son a happy 22nd birthday, wherever he may be.
Posting a picture of a cartoon birthday cake which read: 'Happy Birthday Joey', she tweeted: "Can’t believe he’s turning 22! Wherever you are, I hope that all of your dreams are coming true".
Can’t believe he’s turning 22! Wherever you are, I hope that all of your dreams are coming true ❤ pic.twitter.com/jLGX8vAVod— Michelle Knight Now known As Lily Rose Lee (@LilyRoseLee1) October 19, 2021
Rather than allow Joey to meet his birth mother, Joey's new family have sent Michelle photos of her son and provided her with updates on his well-being.
Still, she holds out hope that one day her son will reach out to her as an adult and they will eventually be reunited.
Speaking to Today back in 2018, she explained: "I said, you know what? I’m going to let him be and when he’s ready to come see me, I’ll be willing and waiting with open arms."
People are reflecting on the harrowing abductions of Michelle, Amanda Berry, and Georgina 'Gina' DeJesus, since the 2015 film adaption Cleveland Abduction landed on Netflix US.
All three women were eventually found and freed in 2013, which also saw Castro then sentenced to life imprisonment for his crimes. He also received 1,000 years in prison, without the chance of parole. However, he ended his life in his prison cell just one month into his sentence.
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