Amanda Berry's family holds onto hope

10:48 PM, Jul 20, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Police still don't know where Amanda Berry is, but they know where she isn't. After two days of looking into a prisoner's tip, they came up with nothing.

"Nothing of evidentiary value. Nothing found in the dirt at all," said a spokesperson.

Amanda Berry's family had a hard time finding the right words, but they said if anything, they feel relief.

No findings mean there's hope that Amanda, who disappeared in 2003 at age 16, is still alive out there.

"We didn't want them to find anything. We still have hope that she's coming home," said Teddie Serrano, Amanda's brother-in-law.

Serrano, and his wife Beth, stayed away from the search at Wade and West 30th, as investigators dug into a prisoner's tip.

"It's been hard. We didn't get no sleep last night just wondering you know, what's going on, what are we going to find out," said Teddie. "But we're kind of relieved that there was nothing there."

Amanda's older sister, Beth, wrote her thanks to the police and FBI, and the community for their support.

She writes, "It's been nine long years, and I'm just wishing someone would say something and bring my sister home." You can read her full statement below.

"Nothing changes, yeah, it's still like Day One," said Teddie. "You know, she just disappeared, there's nothing to go on."

Eight years later, Nancy Ruiz is still searching, too, for her daughter, Gina DeJesus, who disappeared at 14. Ruiz says she knows the feeling, praying for the days the phone doesn't ring.

"[You're] afraid, because you don't know what to expect. They could have called me at any second to tell me that they found remains," said Ruiz.

While most can't imagine suffering through all the possibilities, she wants other parents to know:

"All I ask for, every parent to do, take the five minute time, and hug and kiss your child. Tell them that you love them no matter what."

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason's office tells Channel 3 News that investigators believed this was a reliable tip. And even though they didn't find anything at the site, they hope that some piece of information they obtained this week may help develop another lead in the case.

Beth Serrano's open letter:

I wanna say thank you to the FBI and the police for their help and support. Thanks to everyone out there for their support on behalf of my family. I'm happy they didn't find my sister there, because my faith and hope is that she's coming home. This time is emotional for me and it's hard for me to keep speaking of this at the moment. But I wanna say thank you to everyone. It's been nine long years and I'm just wishing someone would say something and bring my sister home.

Thank you.

Beth Serrano

WKYC-TV

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