Anthony Castro – son of Ariel Castro, the prime suspect in the abduction of three Cleveland girls – interviewed missing Gina DeJesus’ mother for a local newspaper, with no idea she was being held captive at his father’s house.
Anthony Castro, 31, said he was absolutely stunned when he heard about what his father has been accused of, after Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michele Knight and Amanda’s six-year-old daughter were rescued from his home.
After the disappearance of Gina DeJesus in April 2004, Anthony Castro penned a piece for his local paper which included quotes from her mother.
He was a journalism student at Bowling Green State University when he wrote the article, entitled Gina DeJesus’ disappearance has changed her neighborhood, for the Plain Press in June of that year.
Gina DeJesus’ mother Nancy Ruiz told him: “You can tell the difference. People are watching out for each other’s kids. It’s a shame that a tragedy had to happen for me to really know my neighbors.
“Bless their hearts, they’ve been great. People are really looking out for my daughter.”
The aspiring journalist described the atmosphere of the area after the incident.
“Since April 2, 2004 , the day 14-year-old Gina DeJesus was last seen on her way home from Wilbur Wright Middle School, neighborhood residents have been taken by an overwhelming need for caution.
“Parents are more strictly enforcing curfews, encouraging their children to walk in groups, or driving them to and from school when they had previously walked alone.
“On Cleveland’s west side, it is difficult to go any length of time without seeing Gina’s picture on telephone poles, in windows, or on cars along the busy streets.
“One thing is for certain, however. Almost everyone feels a connection with the family, and Gina’s disappearance has the whole area talking.”
Anthony Castro also mentioned Amanda Berry in his article, saying: “They feel the disappearance of Amanda Berry on April 21, 2003, was a wake-up call, but Gina’s case really caught everyone’s attention.”
He had no idea the answer to her whereabouts, and that of two other local girls, lay in his father’s house, which he said he was never allowed inside.
Anthony Castro said: “I last saw my dad two weeks ago, it was at the house, but he didn’t let me in.
“He never did. I was never invited inside. The last time was several years ago and even then it was for about 20 minutes.
“If I had known anything about this, there is no way I could have not done something about it. I wrote about it ten years ago and now it is so close to my family. It’s unbelievable.
“I can express nothing but shame for our family. It is just beyond anything that we can speak about. It’s just a nightmare. I feel unspeakably horrible for the victims.”
It also emerged today that Anthony Castro’s sister Emily was jailed for 25 years in 2008 for the attempted murder of her 11-month-old baby.
Emily Castro, 24, tried to slash her daughter Janyla’s throat in April 2007 after she broke up with the child’s father.
Court documents state that police were called to Emily Castro’s home in Fort Wayne, Indiana – where she moved after she became pregnant – when a passerby saw a woman running out to the street with a bleeding baby in her arms.
The woman was Emily Castro’s mother, Grimilda Figeroa, who told police that her daughter stabbed her own child.
When officers went to the home, they found Emily Castro covered in mud, water and blood.
Emily and Anthony’s father Ariel Castro, 52, was arrested on Monday after one of his alleged victims, Amanda Berry, escaped his home and called police.
Neighbors in the street were shocked to hear that Ariel Castro, who was a school bus driver in the Cleveland area until last year, could be capable of abducting three innocent teenagers from the street and tying them up with chains in his basement.
Ariel Castro’s Facebook page depicts a man with a passion for motorcycles and the bass guitar.