For all the attention given to the amazing story out of Cleveland, the wire services as of this evening still hadn't managed to move a photo of Michelle Knight, one of the three women rescued. It was a similar story a decade ago, when the disappearance of Knight, now 33, got far less attention than the cases of Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. Why? Unlike the other two, Knight was a legal adult at the time and had just lost custody of her toddler. Police concluded that she probably left town of her own accord, her mother tells the Plain Dealer. Barbara Knight, who now lives in Florida, recounts that her daughter started having trouble about age 17, when she dropped out of high school upon becoming pregnant.
And then this: "Barbara Knight said that among her own greatest regrets was becoming involved with an abusive man, whom, she believes, injured her toddler grandson—spurring a chain of events that led Michelle to lose custody of the child," says the story. Michelle Knight disappeared the day she was due in court for the custody case. Though police gave up on the disappearance quickly, Barbara Knight kept putting up fliers and searching for her daughter in vain. She now hopes for a reunion but isn't sure it will happen. "In hindsight, it seems clear that the Cleveland police should have done more to look for her," writes Justin Peters at Slate, though, in fairness, we don't have all the information about her case. "At this point, it looks like Michelle Knight slipped through the cracks." (More Cleveland stories.)