OH—52-year-old Puerto Rican bus driver, Ariel Castro, was charged with the rape and kidnapping of three women he held captive in his
Cleveland home on Wednesday, May 8. Castro is expected to be arraigned on Thursday at
Cleveland’s municipal courthouse.
In a news conference, prosecutor Victor Perez, stated that there is no evidence that Castro’s brothers, Pedro Castro, 52, and Onil Castro, 50, were aware of their brother’s actions or took part in any wrong doing.
The three woman, Gina DeJesus, 23, Michelle Knight, 33, and Amanda Berry, 27, who has a 6-year-old daughter she gave birth to while in captivity, were held prisoner for 9 to 11 years.
The women were freed after
Berry escaped Castro’s home with the help of neighbors who heard her cries for help. Charles Ramsey, who was sitting in his living room next door, heard screams coming from Castro’s home and came out to find
Berry struggling to break free from the front door. He prompted to break the door open and aided her and her child as they escaped Castro’s home. After which
Berry was able to reach a phone and call police.
Berry and her daughter were reunited with their family Wednesday at her sister’s home. The press expected a statement from
Berry upon her arrival at home, her sister, Beth Serrano, gave a brief statement in which she said, “I want to thank the public and the media for their support and their encouragement over the years. At this time our family would request privacy so my sister and niece and I can have time to recover."
DeJesus was also welcomed by friends and community members upon her arrival to her family’s home. Her aunt, Sandra Ruiz, also spoke to the press and asked for privacy through this time. Knight is still being treated at a local hospital and has not yet been released.
Authorities have still not confirmed whether Knight or DeJesus bore any children, or if any of the women endured miscarriages during their time in captivity. Furthermore, officials have stated that a paternity test will be conducted on
Berry’s daughter to confirm Castro as the father.
Grimilda Figueroa, the mother of Castro’s four children, reported Castro to police after he broke her nose, dislocated her shoulder and knocked her tooth out back in 2005.