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Let's Be Clear: An open conversation with Miracle in Cleveland survivor Gina DeJesus

'Let's Be Clear' is a series of transparent discussions with Northeast Ohio's newsmakers.

It’s a new way to cover newsmakers. You want transparency, right? Let's be clear, then.

"Let's Be Clear" is all about transparency. WKYC has a clear, mobile newsroom that we're taking across the state over the next few weeks to talk to those making headlines in Ohio. Whether you agree with the guest, disagree, or are a fan of them, we know you have questions for them. 

So you’re going to be the one asking the questions. Write in what you want to know and our Will Ujek will pose it to them… live. You can tweet questions with #3LetsBeClear or leave them on our Facebook page.  

On Tuesday, we sat down with Gina DeJesus, the Cleveland woman who escaped Ariel Castro's house of horrors in 2013 alongside Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight. 

DeJesus filled us in on her work helping families of missing people, recalled the day she escaped from Castro's home and told us how she likes to spend her time.

DeJesus and her cousin launched their own initiative to help missing people and their families as she announced the Center for Missing, Abducted and Exploited Children and Adults last October.

"We give them hope. We try to give them hope and comfort them and talk to them, to never give up hope like my parents," DeJesus said.

The center's first brick and mortar location is currently a work in progress, located just down the street from Seymour Avenue, where Castro's house was demolished in August 2013.

"This is where it needs to be," DeJesus said. "Just to make this neighborhood kind of not so sad."

RELATED: Gina DeJesus announces Center for Missing, Abducted and Exploited Children and Adults

DeJesus recalled the day she, Berry and Knight escaped. She said Castro left the home to visit his mother and forgot to lock the doors. She knew there was an opportunity to escape, but was afraid to make an attempt.

"I stopped myself, because I was like, what if it's a trick?" DeJesus said.

DeJesus remained in her room and was watching TV when she heard a loud boom downstairs.

"Then I heard some footsteps coming up and I was like, oh no, he's coming for us."

Instead, Knight slammed open her door and ran to the police officers, but DeJesus remained hesitant.

"I was like, what kind of joke is this?" DeJesus recalled. Once she realized the officers were there to help her, DeJesus said all she wanted was to see her parents.

Castro took his own life in prison after he was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years. DeJesus says that wasn't justice.

"I wish he was still alive, behind bars," she said.

Now, DeJesus says she's enjoying the single, adult life. She enjoys spending time with family, shopping with friends and watching "The Vampire Diaries." She has no intentions of starting a family and instead wants to make up for lost time and focus on helping families who are missing their loved ones.

"I don't think of it at all and I'm not angry with the situation," she said. "I've actually moved on, put it behind me, but I'm still able to talk about it and help others."

Click here to learn more about the Center for Missing, Abducted and Exploited Children and Adults.

MORE: Miracle in Cleveland: 5 years since Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight escaped 

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