05/07/2013 01:22 EDT | Updated 07/07/2013 05:12 EDT

Amanda Berry's Mother 'Died Of A Broken Heart' In 2006

Louwana Miller searched for daughter Amanda Berry for three years, never giving up hope, even buying her Christmas presents, but died seven years before Berry was found alive.

Miller had been hospitalized for months before her death in March 2006, with pancreatitis and other ailments. She had spent the previous three years looking for her daughter, whose disappearance took a toll as her health steadily deteriorated, family and friends said.

Cleveland councilwoman Dona Brady said she had spent many hours with Miller, who never gave up hope that her daughter was alive.

"She literally died of a broken heart," Brady told The Associated Press.

Berry disappeared on April 21, 2003, at age 16, after calling her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King in Cleveland. She wasn't heard from again until she called 911 Monday after escaping the house where she had been held, leading to freedom for Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and a six-year-old girl that authorities believe is Berry's daughter.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper reported in 2006 that the last years of Miller's life involved a very public search for Amanda, taking part in interviews with local media and appearing on The Montel Williams Show in 2004, where professional psychic Sylvia Browne told her Berry was dead.

The Plain Dealer quotes a Miller friend, Art McKoy, as saying that Miller was never the same after that. "I think she had given up."

Miller frequently called the media, the police and the FBI, while supporting vigils and rallies, the newspaper reported.

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