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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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May 10th, 2013
07:23 PM ET

Amanda Berry's mother never stopped looking for her

Amanda Berry grabbed the nation’s attention this week when she burst out of a Cleveland house where she’d been held captive for 10 years.

But Amanda’s most avid supporter is no longer here to cheer. Louwanna Miller, Amanda's mother, died from heart failure in 2006.

However, Louwanna's story lives on in the words of Regina Brett, a columnist for the Cleveland paper, The Plain Dealer.

Brett told CNN that anyone who knew Louwanna would say she actually died of a broken heart.

“If you take the worst day of your life and then live it every day for three years, that’s what killed Louwanna Miller,” said Brett.

Before she died, Louwanna worked tirelessly to find out what happened to her daughter, to keep her story alive.

Brett would hear from Louwanna every month, begging for more attention on Amanda's case.

“She called and first she’d yell at me, how come you’re not doing anything? She’d swear at me, and then she’d start crying and then she’d call me honey and she’d thank me. And we had this kind of relationship where I’m the person to go to but I can’t help you, and I really did feel helpless for her,” Brett told CNN.

Over the years, Brett says, Louwanna convinced her that Amanda did not run away, that something much more sinister had happened.

But no matter how many times Brett called the FBI or the Cleveland Police Department there were no leads, no more clues.

Brett wrote five columns about Amanda’s case, and even learned that Louwanna had named her daughter after a song by Conway Twitty that starts off with the lyrics “Amanda… light of my life.”

This week, Louwanna finally got her life’s wish – just in time for Mother’s Day. Amanda, Louwanna’s “Mandy,” is finally back at home.

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