Amanda Marie Berry, missing since April 2003, when she was 16, is pictured in an undated handout photo released by the FBI May 6, 2013. Three women believed to have been abducted years ago were found alive on Monday at a house in Cleveland, a short distance from where at least two of them were last seen, and police said a man has been arrested in connection with their disappearance. (Photo : REUTERS/FBI/Handout )
Amanda Berry appeared at a public event over the weekend for the first time since she and two other women were rescued from a Cleveland home where they were held in captivity for almost a decade.
The crowd at the RoverFest concert greeted Berry with cheers when she made a surprise appearance onstage Saturday with her family and later on with rapper Nelly. The 27-year-old rape survivor seemed happy and excited to be there and was wearing sunglasses, jeans and a black T-shirt.
The host at the concert called for "a bigger round of applause and cheer...than any of the acts that are here" and said after she arrived on stage: "I told her she had a little bit of time to make up on the partying and you guys could help her out tonight."
Nelly introduced her onstage later, saying: "Everyone, here's Amanda Berry."
She held hands with an unidentified man who appeared on stage with her and he draped a protective arm around Berry while she enjoyed her moment in the spotlight, noted the Daily Mail.
Concertgoer Kayleigh Fladung told The Plain Dealer that Berry "didn't say anything, but she was smiling and happy." She added that, "She waved to the crowd, everyone went crazy cheering, and she went backstage. Nelly did his set, four or five songs, and then he brought her out again and everyone cheered. It was cool to see but still very surprising."
Berry's appearance came a day after her kidnapper, Ariel Castro, pleaded guilty to 937 counts in a deal that will send him to prison for life without the chance of parole, plus 1,000 years.
Castro kidnapped Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight between 2002 and 2004 when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. They escaped in May when Berry kicked out part of a door and called to neighbors for help.
Watch video footage of Berry at Roverfest below: