Police: ‘The Real Hero is Amanda’
CLEVELAND — Three women, missing for years, found alive.
Now, after the astounding discovery, three men are in police custody. They are brothers. Cleveland police on Tuesday identified them as 52-year-old Ariel Castro, 54-year-old Pedro Castro and 50-year-old Onil Castro.
All three are expected to be charged.
It started with a scream for help from Ariel Castro’s Seymour Avenue: “My name is Amanda Berry; please help me out of this house.”
That’s where neighbor Charles Ramsey says he found the woman who disappeared 10 years earlier.
But there was more.
Gina DeJesus, who went missing from the same neighborhood a year later, was with her, along with Michelle Knight, who hadn’t been seen for many years, as well.
A 911 call from Berry herself confirmed the shocking news.
“Help me, please! I’m Amanda Berry,” she told a dispatcher. “I’ve been kidnapped! I’ve been missing for 10 years and I’m here and I’m free now.”
With the help of Ramsey, Berry broke out of the home through the bottom of the front door. It took officers about two minutes to get to the scene, Cleveland Safety Director Marty Flask said Tuesday.
DeJesus and Knight emerged minutes later when officers arrived at the home. Also found, a 6-year-old girl whom police believe to be Berry’ daughter.
“The real hero is Amanda,” said Cleveland Police Chief Deputy Tomba.
All three women may have been held in the Seymour Avenue home the whole time they were gone, investigators told Fox 8 News.
Disturbing details of what may have happened in the home started to emerge on Tuesday. Several police sources told Fox 8 I-Team reporter Peggy Sinkovich that the captive women may have been pregnant “multiple times.”
Cleveland police believe a 6-year-old child found in the home is the daughter of Amanda Berry; however, it is unclear if more than one child had been born.
There was evidence of physical abuse, as well. Michelle Knight allegedly shared with police that she was hit in the head and may have suffered hearing loss, a law enforcement source told Sinkovich.
Berry, DeJesus and Knight were at MetroHealth Medical Center until early Tuesday morning. All three were in fair condition until they were released, a hospital spokesperson told Fox 8 News.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said although the city is thrilled with the discovery of the women, there is still a lot of healing to do.
“This is an open investigation. We’re thankful that Miss Berry, DeJesus and Knight have been found alive. We’ve offered our support to their families. It’s a traumatic experience for them.”
For the cases involving Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight specifically, please call the Cleveland Office of the FBI at (216) 522-1400.
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