Ariel Castro, former bus driver who held Cleveland women captive, may have written 2004 news story about themPosted: May 6, 2013
UPDATE: Correction–The article mentioned in title was written by the son of suspect Ariel Castro. The son wrote it for a journalism course he was taking at Bowling Green University in 2004. Until tonight, he had no idea his father was the one who had abducted and imprisoned three young women.
What an unbelievable story. As I posted on the previous thread, three women who were abducted 9, 10, and 11 years ago have been found today in a house not very far from where they disappeared.
Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight were found alive, the Cleveland Division of Police said Monday. All three of the women are talking and “appear to be OK,” according to a statement from Cleveland police on Twitter.
Police said that a 52-year-old Hispanic male has been placed under arrest regarding this incident.
The man’s name has now been revealed to be Ariel Castro. And in a bizarre twist, someone by that name wrote a news story about the disappearances in 2004. The article was discovered by AOL senior news editor Jon Passantino and posted on his Twitter feed.
“I’m here. I’m free now,” a frantic Amanda Berry told a 9-1-1 telephone operator moments after she escaped 10 years of captivity on Cleveland’s West Side.
The Cleveland law Department released recordings this evening of calls to 9-1-1 about the discovery of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, all of whom disappeared a decade or more ago.
Hundreds of people gathered in the streets near 2207 Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, where the women were discovered. Cleveland police said Berry, DeJesus and Michelle Knight are alive, talking and appear to be OK.
“I heard screaming… And I see this girl going nuts trying to get outside,” said Charles, a neighbor who found the women. “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’… When she told me, it didn’t register.” He said he made the call and gave Berry the phone. When police arrived, officers asked him if he knew who he rescued.
A witness who spoke Spanish told NewsChannel5’s Stephanie Ramirez that he helped break down the door. He said there was a child who was about 4 or 5 years old with Berry, as well as other children inside the house. He said he recognized Berry from posters.
Angie Garcia, whose aunt lives across the street from where the women were found, said Berry ran over to the house Monday and begged to use the phone. Berry, who was wearing a wig, told the aunt who she was and then asked to use the phone to call 911.
The women and two young children came out of the house across the street, Garcia said.
“We never saw the girls there and we were always outside,” she said. “We only saw the guy.”
Longer story from Cleveland Plain Dealer with photo gallery
Berry, now 27, DeJesus, 23, and Knight, 32, were taken to MetroHealth Medical Center. The FBI and police will interview the women when they are discharged….
Police arrested the owner of the house, Ariel Castro, 52, who had lived in the house since 1992. Records show he was arrested for domestic violence in 1993, but a grand jury declined to indict him….
Berry disappeared at about 7:40 p.m. April 21, 2003, a day before her 17th birthday. She was last seen leaving her job at a Burger King at West 110th Street and Lorain Avenue.
DeJesus, then 14, vanished April 2, 2004, while walking home from school in the same area. Since then, the two have been the subject of numerous vigils.
Knight, who was 21 at the time of her disappearance, was last seen at a cousin’s house near W. 106 Street and Lorain Avenue on Aug. 23, 2002.
I’ll add further updates in the comment thread.