Friendswood family has ties to one of the rescued Ohio women

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by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 7, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 8 at 10:34 AM

FRIENDSWOOD -- A local family has ties to at least one of the women who managed to escape after being held captive for nearly a decade in Cleveland, Ohio.

Not long after then 14-year-old Gina DeJesus vanished, her family contacted the Laura Recovery Center in Friendswood.

Bob Smither remembers the case well.

"We just gave them advice on how to get media attention on Gina," Smither recalled. "We also helped them get billboards and organize candlelight vigils."

Bob and Gay Smither founded the Laura Recovery Center after their own daughter went missing in April 1997. She was eventually found murdered in a retention pond.

Her killer hasn't been caught.

They believe that finding Gina, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight should give hope to families with missing loved ones.

"The hope that this gives to long term missing cases is phenomenal," said Gay Smither. "We're just overjoyed for these families who get to hug their daughters tonight."

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