CLEVELAND -- According to a missing persons report filed with the Cleveland Police Department, Michelle Knight went missing in late August 2002.
Her mother, Barbara Knight, told investigators Michelle had "a mental condition and that she confused her surroundings a lot."
Knight was last seen at her cousin's house on West 106th Street and Lorain Avenue.
Nicknamed "Shorty" possibly for her small 4'7" stature, Michelle is described as having black hair and blue/hazel eyes.
According to incident reports, Cleveland police followed up on Knight's case nearly half a dozen times over the years. However, they had a hard time contacting family members for further information.
Investigators also had several of their letters sent to the Knight family returned by the U.S. Postal Service unopened.
A spokeswoman with the Department of Child and Family Services has confirmed their agency was involved with Michelle as a youth. However, the duration and specifics of their involvement could not be released.
Upon hearing the news that Michelle could be alive, Jimmy Singleton, Michelle's step-uncle, says the family was overjoyed.
"I couldn't believe her (Michelle's grandmother) and at first I was like, what if that's another Michelle Knight, you know, because that's a whole lot of Knights, but she said that's her and then her step-daughter called her up this morning...Barbara Knight called her up this morning and said that was her."