Missing women freed with help from a neighbor
In the day and a half following the rescue of the three women and one little girl, statements from neighbors concerning incidents at the house and a lukewarm response by Cleveland police are being vigorously denied by city officials. According to them, there were no complaints called in, with the exception of one in 2004, where Ariel Castro was accused of leaving a child on a school bus unattended while he got out to get his fast-food lunch.
One neighbor said that he called police in November 2011, after his sister saw a girl in the house carrying an infant and crying. Police responded, knocked on the door several times and left after no one answered.
Another neighbor called the police several months ago after her daughter saw Castro park his bus in front of the house and carry a large bag of fast-food and several drinks inside. To the best of everyone’s knowledge, Castro lived alone. Police again came. They did not enter the house, but warned Castro to not park his bus in the street.
There are reports of other calls being made, once when someone saw a naked woman crawling in the back yard, another when a neighbor noticed that most of the windows and doors in the house were sealed and covered in black plastic.
Another neighbor, Anthony Westry, recalls a little girl could be seen looking out from the attic window sometimes. He said that Ariel Castro would take the little girl to the nearby park to play in the early mornings. Castro reportedly has several grandchildren, so neighbors did not suspect anything was awry, seeing him with the girl.
According to one witness involved in Amanda Berry’s rescue, she stated that the little girl is Ariel Castro’s daughter. The hedging going on over that would be laughable, if it weren’t so tragic. Statements such as “likely the father”, “it’s a good possibility that one of them is” just make no sense. Yes, DNA testing needs to be done to confirm, but Jocelyn is six years old. Her mother was held captive for ten years. Who the hell else do they think might be the father? Unless they are not telling us that the women were abducted not for personal service, but for prostitution. The police are releasing no information about the period the women were held, and the FBI is keeping them and their families secluded, to ostensibly protect them from the media.
Jocelyn, by the way, is doing quite well. She is smiling, talking and playing. Oh, and eating popsicles.
Yesterday’s Original Story:
Yesterday Cleveland rejoiced at the recovery of three young women who had been feared dead for several years. The missing women are Michele Knight (32) missing since 2002, Amanda Berry (27) missing since 2003, and Gina DeJesus (23) missing since 2004. Also freed was Amanda Berry’s young daughter.
Details about their kidnappings and captivity have not been released at this time. The women are all being treated at the Metro Health Medical Center, where they are reported to be in fair condition. According to Cleveland Police Commander Keith Sulver, “All of them are doing well. They all look good. They’re all talking. They’re aware of everything that’s going on, and we’re just very happy that they’re safe and in good condition.” Witnesses of their release from the house said they were skinny and looked malnourished.
The owner of the house, Ariel Castro (52) has been taken into custody, along with his two brothers, aged 50 and 54.
Neighbor Charles Ramsey heard one woman’s cries from the house and went to investigate, thinking she might need help from domestic abuse. When he got there, she told him she couldn’t open the door to get out, it was locked. After trying to pry it open, he and another neighbor kicked in the bottom, and Amanda Berry crawled through it with her daughter. Amanda told Ramsey they had to call 911 before Castro returned, so they went to his house and she called. Police swarmed the house, broke in and freed DeJesus and Knight.
The one cloud on their recovery is that Amanda Berry’s mother died in 2006, never knowing that her daughter was still alive.