CLEVELAND - Cleveland Police Commander Gary Gingell was Commander of Cleveland's first district when Amanda Berry went missing in April, 2003, and when Gina DeJesus was reported missing about a year later.
Gingell reports he had many sleepless nights while the search continued day after day.
"In our district we searched everywhere," said Gingell. "They were searching abandoned garages, fields culverts, everything."
Gingell's Lieutenant at the time was Keith Sulzer, who is now Commander of Cleveland's second district.
Gingell explained Sulzer's deeply emotional connection with the on-going search for the missing girls.
"He told me, he said ya know, I've had nightmares that they found Gina in a place where we searched," explained Gingell. "He goes I wake up and I feel terrible about it, but I know we did the best we could."
Gingell told NewsChannel5 he would often give updates on the search to the DeJesus and Berry families.
"They see the car pulling up and they don't know what kind of news you're coming with," said Gingell. "So the first thing I'd say as I walked in the door is 'I don't have any terrible news today,'" said Gingell. "This what we're doing we're moving on from here, and we need you to do this, and we need you to help us do that, and engage them, and like I said I can't believe their courage."
Gingell said he was filled with elation when he was told Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry, and Michelle Knight were rescued from a home on Seymour Avenue some 10 years later.
Gingell said it's a case he always hoped would one day be solved.
"From start to finish it was a heart wrenching, soul grabbing case," Gingell said with emotion in his eyes. "And it came to a great conclusion it was a miracle, that's the best way I can say it."
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