Katie Beers talks about recovering from kidnapping

May 10, 2013 2:48:37 PM PDT
Katie Beers was overjoyed when she learned of the Cleveland women's' release from their captor.

If you don't remember, she was the little Long Island girl who was held captive and sexually molested and raped in an underground bunker by a family friend.

Now more than 20 years later, Eyewitness News talked to her about her road to recovery and her advice for the three women and their families in Cleveland.

"He put me in this room that was coffin size box," said Katie Beers, a kidnapping victim.

Katie Beers can still recall the horror of the tiny cell that imprisoned her for 17 days

Her cries for help from the underground bunker could not be heard, and at the age of 10 her fears of death involved both her and her captor.

"I was afraid I was going to die because John Esposito would've been killed either in an accident or committed suicide something like that," Beers said.

"You were afraid something would happen to him and nobody would know you were down in this hole in the ground," Eyewitness News anchor Diana Williams asked.

"Yes," Beers said.

When kidnapper John Esposito was revealed, camera crews were there for her rescue, capturing the innocent wave of a child.

"You were just a little girl and you waved to the camera," Williams said.

"I think it was Detective Varone who was driving the car and he told me to wave to the camera so I did," Beers said.

There were years of recovery, and Eyewitness News learned Katie suffered not just 17 days of abuse, but eight years of torment by adults who were supposed to care for her.

"I still don't like to be in small secluded areas," Beers said.

She is now married and a mother of two. She has closely watched the three women in Cleveland as they begin a road so familiar to her.

"Take your time in recovery. It's going to be long drawn out process. I don't think they should be forced to talk about things they are not ready to talk about. It's all going to come with time when they are ready willing and able," Beers said.

You can watch Katie Beers' full interview on Up Close with Diana Williams this Sunday morning at 11:00 on Channel 7.