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Ohio refocuses on missing persons

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The county that includes Cleveland said Thursday it will strengthen efforts to locate missing people following the discovery of three women who said they were held captive in a home there for about a decade.

Cuyahoga County is launching a website about unresolved cases and plans to hire three people to focus on them, County Executive Ed FitzGerald said.

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The announcement came 10 days after 911 calls led police to a home where they found Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight a few miles from where they separately disappeared between 2002 and 2004. Neighbors and relatives have said they were shocked by allegations that the women were taken and held captive by home­owner Ariel Castro who is charged with kidnapping and rape.

FitzGerald said the discovery prompted officials to expedite previous plans to focus more resources on such cases. The initiative will address a gap in information-sharing for police, the public, and families of the missing, he said.

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