Michelle Knight, one of the three women held captive for almost a decade by kidnapper Ariel Castro, wrote a note to Cleveland police thanking them for their "time and work" in the aftermath of their ordeal.
Knight, who went missing in 2002, addressed the handwritten note to Cleveland police Cmdr. Keith Sulzer, officers and staff.
"You don't know how much I appreciate all your time & work collecting cards and gifts from people for me and the other girls," Knight, 32, wrote. "I am overwhelmed by the amount of thoughts, love + prayers expressed by complete strangers."
The police department posted Knight's undated note on its Facebook page Wednesday.
"Life is tough," she continued. "But I'm tougher. Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly."
Castro was in court for sentencing on Thursday. According to ABC News, Knight is expected to make a statement in person at the hearing.
Castro pleaded guilty last Friday to kidnapping, raping and beating Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, as part of a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty. The plea deal stipulates that Castro will be sentenced to a minimum of life in prison without parole, plus 1,000 years.