Gina's mom, on Castro's plea: 'In a word, awesome'

10:50 PM, Jul 27, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Ariel Castro's plea arrangement to spend the rest of his life in prison spares the three surviving women the agony of reliving their decade-long nightmare in court.

Gina DeJesus's mother says of the guilty plea: "In a word, awesome," said Nancy Ruiz.

Ruiz and Gina's father, Felix DeJesus, says this closes the door on one dark chapter, so the family can focus on the next: Gina's healing.

"We're looking forward to the future more. Life goes on and she's doing great. She's doing great," Ruiz says of her daughter.

And her parents remain committed to the cause they took up when Gina first went missing: raising awareness about human trafficking and violence against women.

Saturday, they joined the Salvation Walk on Cleveland's west side.

Organized by the Guardian Angels, each year, a group walks the neighborhood, marching, handing out information and calling on neighbors to be vigilant and watch for signs of trouble.

Two years ago, Felix DeJesus participated, speaking about his need to find his daughter and safely bring her home.

"I never gave up on my daughter. The same thing, we have to do in our community," DeJesus said.

Now that Gina is home, he reminded strangers and friends at the Salvation Walk, that there are other missing women out there. 

Pastor Angel Arroyo, with the Guardian Angels, says they are taking this cause to the state level.

"[The DeJesus family] is strong, and we want people to continue to speak out," Arroyo said.

Adds Gina's mother: "I'm asking everybody, please get involved. Don't just stay at home and do nothing. Start to believe. I did for nine years. I never gave up and I'm asking everybody now to do the same thing. Fight," Ruiz said.


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