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CLEVELAND — Three young women, reunited with their families for the first time in nearly a decade, were talking to investigators Tuesday about their life in captivity amid reports that the women were forced to endure years of sexual abuse and beatings inside a rundown house on Cleveland's west side.
Police have arrested three brothers, Ariel Castro, 52, the owner of the house and a former Cleveland school bus driver; Pedro Castro, 54; and Onil Castro, 50, in connection with the alleged abductions. A law enforcement official told USA Today there is evidence that the victims were held in chains during at least part of their captivity. The official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, did not elaborate on other conditions of their confinement or whether they were ever moved from the home.
Khalid Samad, a former assistant safety director for the city, said law enforcement officials told him that the women were beaten while pregnant, with unborn children not surviving, and that a dungeon of sorts with chains was in the home. Samad, who works with a crime prevention non-profit group, said he saw the women at the hospital Monday night. As questions were raised about how the women could have been held undetected for so long in a dense residential neighborhood, Cleveland Police Sgt. Sammy Morris said Tuesday that local police had contact with Ariel Castro on at least two occasions during the time the women were missing.
Both contacts were unrelated to reports about the missing women. Morris said local investigators and federal agents continued Women 4 sex in Cleveland search the house Tuesday, a task that was expected to take a few days. All three suspects were being held on suspicion of rape and kidnapping, but Morris said details of the abuse and how the victims were held were not yet known.
Morris also said authorities were seeking to learn whether the women were held at the same home or moved to other locations during their captivity. Cleveland police said in a statement Tuesday night that charges had not yet been filed, and that the three men were being held in the Central Prison Unit at Cleveland's police headquarters.
But neighbors and police sources were hinting at a life of horror for the women at the hands of captors for almost 10 years.
Elsie Cintron, who lives three houses away, said her daughter once saw a naked woman crawling on her hands and knees in the backyard several years ago and called police. Another neighbor, Israel Lugo, said he heard pounding on some of the doors of Castro's house, which had plastic bags on the windows, in November Lugo said officers knocked on the front door, but no one answered.
Neighbors also said they would sometimes see Ariel Castro walking a little girl to a neighborhood playground. And Cintron said she once saw a little girl looking out of the house's attic window. Israel Lugo said he, his family and neighbors called police three times between and after seeing disturbing things at the home of Ariel Castro. Lugo lives two houses down from Castro and grew suspicious after neighbors reported seeing naked women on leashes crawling on all fours behind Castro's house.
Lugo said about two years ago his sister told him she heard a woman pounding on a window at Castro's home as if she needed help. When his sister looked up, she saw a woman and a baby standing in a window half covered with a wooden plank. His sister told him and Lugo called the police. Later, Lugo's mother called the police because Ariel Castro would park his school bus in front of their home and bring bags full of McDonald's and drinks into his home.
They wondered why he needed so much food.
Police again responded but didn't enter the home. A third call came from neighborhood women who lived in an apartment building. Those women told Lugo they called police because they saw three young girls crawling on all fours naked with dog leashes around their necks. Three men were controlling them in the backyard. The women told Lugo they waited two hours but police never responded to the calls. This past Sunday, Lugo said he saw Ariel Castro at a nearby park with the girl who now officials think is Berry's daughter.
When Lugo asked Castro whose daughter she was, Castro said that she was his girlfriend's daughter. Tomba, tight-lipped on what investigators have uncovered, did say that police believe that a 6-year-old girl also found in the house was Berry's daughter.
He declined to say who the father was or where the child was born.
The house had been flagged for foreclosure, but court records show no indication of action by the county. Cleveland officials said Tuesday that they have no record of anyone calling about criminal activity at the house, but that they are still combing their records. WKYC-TV, quoting unidentified police sources, reported Tuesday that the suspects allegedly forced the women to have sex, resulting in up to five pregnancies. Two sources are quoted as saying the babies did not survive.
Emily Castro, Ariel's daughter, is serving 25 years in prison for attempting to murder her infant daughter. Emily Castro suffered from manic depression diagnosed when she was 13, the court record says. On April 4,a day after her boyfriend moved out, Castro, then 19, allegedly slashed the month-old's throat four times, cut her own neck and wrists and then attempted to drown herself in a nearby creek.
In an appeal filed Nov. At the home in Cleveland, investigators worked through the night gathering evidence and clues in the case. They noted the presence of "disturbed" dirt in the backyard. WKYC says its source did not indicate whether that was related to the alleged pregnancies.
The three were free Monday after neighbor Charles Ramsey heard Berry's screams and helped her slip through a small opening in a door. Police rushed to the scene within two minutes after Berry called from the neighbor's home. Police then freed the other two women. The women were hospitalized in fair condition, but released to their families on Tuesday morning. Each had gone missing separately. Berry disappeared at age 16 on April 21,when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from Women 4 sex in Cleveland job at a Burger King.
DeJesus went missing at age 14 on her way home from school about a year later. They were found just a few miles from where they had disappeared. Police said Knight, now 32, went missing in The Cleveland Plain Dealer quoted Michelle Knight's grandmother, Deborah Knight, as saying her daughter believed that Michelle was last seen several years ago in a van with an older man at a shopping plaza. I come outside. I see this girl going nuts trying to get out of a house. Ramsey said the door was only wide enough for a hand to fit through, so they kicked out the bottom and made enough space for her to escape.
She quickly called I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here. I'm free now. She said she had been taken by someone and begged for police officers to arrive at the house on Cleveland's west side before he returned.
In an odd twist, Ariel "Anthony' Castro, the year-old son of suspect Ariel Castro, wrote in Plain Pressa community newspaper on Cleveland's west side, in about how DeJesus' disappearance had changed the neighborhood. He even quoted DeJesus' mother, Nancy Ruiz, as saying people had started looking after each other's children. Facebook Twitter. Reports of sex abuse, beatings inside Cleveland house.
Neighbors called after seeing naked, chained women. Israel Lugo, neighbor of Ariel Castro who is accused of kidnapping three women, says that he and his family called the police after seeing women chained naked in the backyard of Castro's home. Neighbor: 'I thought this girl was dead'. Cleveland resident Charles Ramsey thought he was witnessing a domestic dispute when he heard a woman screaming, trying to get out of a house. He was shocked to find that three women were allegedly held hostage near his home for years. May 7. Share your feedback to help improve our site!Women 4 sex in Cleveland
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