Ohio authorities have released pictures of the three Castro brothers arrested after three missing women – Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight – were found at a Cleveland home where they had allegedly been held captive for a decade.
The mugshots of Ariel Castro, 52, who owned the property, and his brothers Onil, 50, and Pedro, 54, emerged as police sources claimed the women reportedly had multiple pregnancies at the home.
At least five babies were born at the house, while one of the victims, Amanda Berry, suffered as many as three miscarriages because she was so malnourished, police sources told NewsChannel5.
Ariel Castro and his brothers Onil and Pedro were arrested for kidnapping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight a decade ago
Other sources told WKYC that the captors would beat the women when they were pregnant, meaning that the babies would not survive.
It is unknown what happened to any children who were born at the home, and it is not clear whether a 6-year-old girl who was found alive there on Monday is among the number cited by sources.
The girl was found after her mother, kidnap victim Amanda Berry, 26, climbed through a screen door on Monday afternoon while her alleged captor was out and fled to a neighbor’s home to call 911.
When police arrived minutes later, they found Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michele Knight, 32, who had also been missing for a decade, along with the young girl.
At the press conference, authorities confirmed that the little girl was born to Amanda Berry while she was in captivity, but it is not known which of the three suspects – if any – is the father.
Today police praised Amanda Berry, who went missing a day before her 17th birthday in 2003, for escaping and alerting authorities to the two other women at the home.
“The real hero here is Amanda,” Cleveland Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba said at a press conference on Tuesday morning.
“She came out of that house and that started it all.”
Charles Ramsey, the neighbor credited with saving three young women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade, said he heard desperate screams and then kicked through a door to help one escape.
Charles Ramsey said he was eating a McDonald’s meal when he heard the cries, ran over to investigate holding a Big Mac and then came face to face with Amanda Berry, who was last seen in 2003 aged 16.
He told WEWS-TV: “I heard screaming, and I see this girl going nuts trying to get outside [of the house].
“I go on the porch and she said, <<Help me get out. I’ve been here a long time>>. I figure it was domestic violence dispute.”
“She comes out with a little girl and says <<Call 911, my name is Amanda Berry>>.”
Charles Ramsey said he didn’t immediately process that it was the same Amanda Berry who had disappeared from the neighborhood 10 years ago.
Charles Ramsey is the neighbor credited with saving three young women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade
Soon afterwards, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were also found alive on inside the house.
When Charles Ramsey helped Amanda Berry out of the house, she was holding a young child, and there were other children in the home.
Charles Ramsey added: “I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway.”
Ariel Castro, 52, has been arrested and is in police custody in connection with the kidnapping case along with his two unnamed brothers, who are 50 and 54.
Charles Ramsey said: “When she told me, it didn’t register until I got the call to 911 and I’m like, <<I’m calling 911 for Amanda Berry? I thought this girl was dead>>.”
He handed Amanda Berry the phone, and she told police that she had been held captive in the home and to send help.
Also found in the home were two more women who had been reported missing at around the same time – Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. All three appeared to be in good health.
Dr. Gerald Maloney, of Cleveland MetroHealth Center, told reporters: “They’re safe… We’re in the process of evaluating medical needs. They appear to be in fair condition at the moment.”
Gina DeJesus vanished in 2004, while Michelle Knight was last seen in 2002.
There were also several children in the home.
When police arrived, officers asked Charles Ramsey if he knew who he rescued.
The revelations shocked Charles Ramsey, who said that he has known Ariel Castro and the two often spent time together.
He told NewsNet5: “I’ve been here a year. I barbeque with this dude, we eat ribs and what not and listen to salsa music. Not a clue that that girl was in that house or that anyone else was in there with.”
Charles Ramsey added: “He’s somebody you look and then you look away because he’s just doing normal stuff. You got some big testicles to pull this one off because we see this guy every day.”
Amanda Berry disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, one day before her 17th anniversary, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King.
Gina DeJesus went missing at age 14 on her way home from school about a year later.
The three missing women in Cleveland who were abducted a decade ago were all last seen on the same busy block in the city.
Michelle Knight, who was 20 years old when she went missing in August 2002, was last seen at a cousin’s house near West 106th Street and Lorain Avenue.
Three years later, in April 2003, Amanda Berry, disappeared after leaving her job at a Burger King – at West 110th Street and Lorain. It was the day before her 17th birthday.
A year later, Gina DeJesus, then 14 years old, was last seen leaving her middle school at West 105th Street and Lorain.
All three were found safe on Monday night after Amanda Berry bolted from a home on Seymour Avenue, about three miles from where they were last seen.
Amanda Berry told police that she and the other girls were being held prisoner by Ariel Castro, 52, who has been arrested along with his two brothers on suspicion of kidnapping.
The three missing women in Cleveland who were abducted a decade ago were all last seen on the same busy block in the city
The exact circumstances of the abductions is currently unclear, and it is not known whether or not the kidnapper deliberately targeted the block where all three victims were taken.
The story of Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus’ disappearance has been well known in the area for the past decade, as their relatives have continually held vigils and kept the story alive in the press.
Michelle Knight’s case was less high profile – police told her family that she had probably run away of her own accord after her son was taken away from her, so the search effort was less concentrated.
Amanda Berry’s mother Louwanna Miller died in March 2006 aged just 44 after the years of her daughter’s disappearance had taken a toll on her deteriorating health. Local news reports said that she “died of a broken heart”.
Amanda Berry’s sister has continued to keep the case in the public’s attention since their mother died, and she has worked closely with the DeJesus family.
Last year, Gina DeJesus’ mother Nancy Ruiz raised concerns that her daughter might have been the victim of human trafficking.
“I always said it from the beginning; she was sold to the highest bidder,” Nancy Ruiz said.
Last night Ariel Castro’s neighbor Charles Ramsey described the amazing moment he became the first person to see Amanda Berry – who gave birth in captivity – since 2003.
“I go on the porch and she said, <<Help me get out. I’ve been here a long time>>. I figure it was domestic violence dispute,” he said.
“She comes out with a little girl and says <<Call 911, my name is Amanda Berry>>.”
Charles Ramsey continued: “When she told me, it didn’t register until I got the call to 911 and I’m like, <<I’m calling 911 for Amanda Berry? I thought this girl was dead>>.”
He handed Amanda the phone, and she told police that she had been held captive in the home and to send help.
The three women were rescued and taken to an area hospital where they were receiving treatment.
Ariel Castro has been identified as the prime suspect in the astonishing kidnapping case of three women held captive for ten years in Cleveland and he has been taken into custody – as well as two of his own brothers.
Ariel Castro, 52, of Cleveland, Ohio was arrested on Monday after one of the alleged victims, Amanda Berry escaped his home and called police.
He was a school bus driver in the Cleveland area, according to reports.
Only Ariel Castro lived at the home. The brothers lived elsewhere, police told reporters.
Ariel Castro has been identified as the prime suspect in the astonishing kidnapping case of three women held captive for ten years in Cleveland
Ariel Castro’s Facebook page depicts a man with a passion for motorcycles and the bass guitar.
His last post to the social networking site on May 2 says: “Miracles really do happen, God is good :)”
Cleveland’s police chief said on Monday night that the victims were tied up in the house where they were found and had been there since they disappeared.
The county prosecutor joined dozens of police officers and sheriff’s deputies at the scene as they began searching the house late Monday.
Authorities say the women have been taken to a hospital to reunite with relatives and seem to be in good health.
Michelle Knight had been missing since 2002, Amanda Berry since 2003 and Gina DeJesus since 2004.
Remarkably, Ariel Castro’s son – also named Ariel who now goes by “Anthony” – penned an article for the Cleveland Plain Press about the disappearance of Gina DeJesus back in 2004.
Anthony Castro told WKYC-TV reporter Sara Shookman: “This is beyond comprehension… I’m truly stunned right now.”
Also struck by the allegations, the suspects’ uncle, Julio Castro, told CNN: “I never want to see them again.”
Police didn’t immediately provide any details of how the women were found but said they appeared to be in good health and had been taken to a hospital to be reunited with relatives and to be evaluated.
They said a 6-year-old girl also was found in the home.
On a recorded 911 call Monday, Amanda Berry declared: “I’m Amanda Berry. I’ve been on the news for the last 10 years.”
The woman said she had been taken by someone and begged for police officers to arrive at the home on Cleveland’s west side before he returned.
“I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years,” Amanda Berry told the dispatcher.
“And I’m here. I’m free now.”
Amanda Berry disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King.
Gina 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 Michelle Knight went missing in 2002 and is 32 now. They didn’t provide current ages for the other two women.
Three young women – Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight – who vanished in separate incidents about a decade ago in Ohio have been found alive in a house in Cleveland.
Amanda Berry disappeared aged 16 in 2003, Gina DeJesus went missing aged 14 in 2004, and Michele Knight disappeared in 2002 aged around 19.
Their discovery followed a dramatic bid for freedom by Amanda Berry on Monday, helped by a neighbor.
Three brothers have been arrested in connection with the case.
Cleveland police said the suspects are Hispanic, aged 50, 52 and 54, and one of them had lived at the house on Seymour Avenue.
One was named as Ariel Castro, who has worked as a school bus driver.
Police have said a six-year-old girl was also found at the home. They have not revealed any further details, although a relative of Amanda Berry said she told him she had a daughter.
The girls’ family reacted with shock and delight at news of their discovery, and many people gathered outside the home where they had allegedly been imprisoned.
“In all this time, 10 years, nobody never figured nothing about where she was at and this has come to an end and it’s right here on Seymour,” said Gina DeJesus’ uncle.
A doctor said the three women were in a fair condition and were being kept in hospital for observation.
“This isn’t the ending we usually hear to these stories,” said Dr. Gerald Maloney in a brief news conference outside Metro Health hospital in Cleveland.
“We’re very happy.”
Speaking amid cheers from spectators, he added the women were able to speak to hospital staff but he declined to give further details.
The disappearances of Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus had been big news in Cleveland, and many had assumed them to be dead.
Little was made of the disappearance of Michelle Knight, who was older than the other two girls.
Her grandmother, Deborah Knight, was quoted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper on Monday as saying that the authorities concluded she had run away.
The dramatic events unfolded after Amanda Berry attempted to flee the house when her alleged captor went out.
Amanda Berry disappeared aged 16 in 2003, Gina DeJesus went missing aged 14 in 2004
Neighbor Charles Ramsey said he heard screaming.
“I see this girl going nuts trying to get outside,” he told reporters.
He said he suggested the woman open the door and exit, but she told him it was locked.
“We had to kick open the bottom,” he said.
“Lucky on that door it was aluminium. It was cheap. She climbed out with her daughter.”
Both Charles Ramsey and Amanda Berry called 911.
In her frantic call, released to the news media, Amanda Berry told the operator: “I’m Amanda Berry. I’ve been kidnapped. I’ve been missing for 10 years. I’m free. I’m here now.”
She identified her kidnapper as Ariel Castro and said other women were in the house.
Charles Ramsey said he was stunned by the developments. He said he had shared barbeques with Ariel Castro and never suspected a thing.
“There was nothing exciting about him… well, until today,” he said.
Amanda Berry at the Cleveland Hospital alongside her sister and the daughter that she gave birth to during the 10 years she was held against her will
An uncle, Julio Castro, who has a shop nearby, confirmed his nephew had been arrested, and said Ariel Castro had worked as a school bus driver. The Cleveland school district confirmed he worked for them, but did not give specifics.
“I am thankful that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have been found alive,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said.
“We have many unanswered questions regarding this case and the investigation will be ongoing.”
Amanda Berry was last heard from when she called her sister on 21 April 2003 to say she would get a lift home from work at a Burger King restaurant.
In 2004, Gina DeJesus was said to be on her way home from school when she went missing.
Their cases were re-opened last year when a prison inmate tipped off authorities that Amanda Berry may have been buried in Cleveland. He received a four-and-a-half-year sentence in prison for the false information.
Amanda Berry’s mother, Louwana, died in March 2006, three years after her daughter’s disappearance.
Although much is still not yet known about this case, it recalled a series of recent high-profile child abduction cases.
Jaycee Lee Dugard was 11 years old when she was dragged into a car as she walked to a bus stop near her home in South Lake Tahoe, California in 1991.
She was discovered in August 2009, having spent 18 years held captive in the backyard of Phillip and Nancy Garrido in Antioch, some 170 miles from South Lake Tahoe. She had two children.
In Austria, Natascha Kampusch was abducted on her way to school at the age of 10. She was held for eight years by Wolfgang Priklopil in the windowless basement of a house in a quiet suburb of Vienna.
She managed to escape in 2006 while Wolfgang Priklopil was making a phone call. He committed suicide hours after she had fled.
Elizabeth Smart was 14 when she was taken from the bedroom of her Utah home in June 2002 and repeatedly raped during nine months of captivity.
She was rescued in March 2003 less than 20 miles from her home. Her abductor, Brian David Mitchell, was jailed for life in 2011.