Ariel Castro Charged with Kidnapping, Rape; Brothers Pedro and Onil Released
(CNN) — The jubilation over the freeing of three women and a girl from their alleged captivity in Cleveland is quickly giving way to a serious question: Did Cleveland police miss clues?
How could Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus and Michelle Knight remain captive for about decade in a densely populated area within a few miles of where each of them disappeared?
The women were freed this week with the help of neighbors. The man who lived in the home where the alleged captives were found, Ariel Castro, was charged Wednesday with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, Cleveland chief assistant prosecutor Victor Perez said.
Prosecutors are not pressing charges against Pedro and Onil Castro, who were also arrested along with their brother Ariel, with Perez saying there’s “no evidence” that they were complicit in the case.
Neighbors say they had called police about suspicious activity at the home in the past.
Cleveland police deny that, issuing a statement Wednesday saying that a “thorough review of police communications records” show no such calls ever took place.
Police say they went to the address once in 2000, before the alleged kidnappings, when Castro reported a fight outside his home, and in 2004, after two of the three women had disappeared. The latter visit was unrelated to the kidnappings, police said. Child services requested that visit to investigate a complaint that Castro had left a child alone on a bus during the time he worked as a bus driver.
No one answered the door at the home, and investigators later interviewed him elsewhere, police say.
Martin Flask, director of public safety for the city, later told reporters that “there is no evidence to indicate that any of them (the women) were ever outside in the yard in chains, without clothing or any other manner.”