Ariel Castro kidnapped his victims by offering them rides, then chained them in the basement of his home on Cleveland’s West Side, where they were repeatedly raped over the course of a decade, prosecutors say. Castro, 52, was formally charged Wednesday with three counts of rape and four counts of kidnapping, among other charges. Officials said Arile Castro’s two brothers, Pedro and Onil — who were arrested with him after Monday’s rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight and Berry’s 6-year-old daughter Jocelyn — will not be charged in connection with the case. “There is nothing that leads us to believe that they were involved or they had any knowledge of this,” Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba told reporters.
Cleveland kidnap victim Amanda Berry (left); suspect Ariel Castro (center); another kidnap victim, Gina DeJesus (right)
The deputy chief also “corrected previous speculation in the public that the women had been allowed out in public occasionally” and “said a paternity test would be given on Ariel Castro to determine if the young girl found in home is his daughter,” the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
Wednesday brought shocking new revelations of the abuse inflicted on the three women — who ranged in age from 14 to 20 when they were separately abducted between 2000 and 2004 — during their captivity in what news accounts have called a “house of horrors” on Cleveland’s Seymour Avenue. John Caniglia reported in the Plain Dealer:
Authorities today say the 6-year-old daughter of Amanda Berry was born in a small inflatable swimming pool during the time Berry and two other women were held in captivity.
Knight, Castro’s first alleged kidnapping victim, told police she was impregnated five times by Castro … In each case, she reportedly was made to abort the fetus when he punched her in the belly.
Berry, however, delivered her tormentor’s apparent child six years ago …. The little girl, named Jocelyn, was rescued with her mother and the other women.
Knight helped deliver Berry’s child in a plastic kiddie pool, a source told WEWS. Castro told Knight if Berry’s baby died, so would she. At one point, the source said, baby Jocelyn stopped breathing, but Knight gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, saving the girl’s life.
Only DeJesus told investigators she did not believe she ever became pregnant despite repeated rapes …
Police said Castro is cooperating. He was read his Miranda rights, but chose to waive them and has provided police with a “detailed statement,” Deputy Chief Tomba told reporters.
Chains, locks and lengths of rope were discovered inside the Cleveland home on Seymour Avenue, police said.
Meanwhile, Fox News reported, police were investigating the possibility that Castro had kidnapped other victims besides the three women rescued Monday:
Details of a possible fourth victim came to light during police interviews with the oldest victim, Michelle Knight, who reportedly said there was another girl at the home about 10 years ago, but she disappeared.
In 2007, Ashley Summers, a 14 year old, disappeared in the same neighborhood. Initially it was believed Summers was a runaway but a few years later, police saw a potential link with the other missing girls.
Knight reportedly told police she was unsure of how many other women may have been in the house because they were all kept in separate locked rooms.
- ABC News: Cleveland Kidnap Suspect Charged with Rapes, Abductions
- Cleveland Plain Dealer: Chains, ropes removed from home where Berry, DeJesus, Knight were held, police chief says
- Hot Air: Police looking for more kidnap victims after rescue
- CNN: Homeowner charged in Cleveland abductions
- Legal Insurrection: Only one brother in Cleveland kidnapping to be charged
- Cleveland Plain Dealer: Authorities say daughter of Amanda Berry born in inflatable pool