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3 Missing Women Found Alive in Cleveland



Three women were held captive by Ariel Castro and were beaten, raped and starved for a decade, according to prosecutors.

He faces 329 counts, including one count of aggravated murder for allegedly causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy.


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Convicted Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was found dead Tuesday inside his cell at the Correction Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, according to corrections officials.

JoEllen Smith of the Ohio Department of Corrections released the following statement:

Inmate Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell this evening at 9:20 pm at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient. He was housed in protective custody which means he was in a cell by himself and rounds are required every 30 minutes at staggered intervals.  Upon finding inmate Castro, prison medical staff began performing life saving measures. Shortly after he was transported to OSUMC where he was pronounced dead at 10:52 pm. A thorough review of this incident is underway and more information can be provided as it becomes available pending the status of the investigation.

castropicCastro was in protective custody, which was typical for high-profile inmates, but was not on suicide watch, Smith said.

Castro hanged himself with a bedsheet, the local coroner’s office told CNN Wednesday.

The 52-year-old had pleaded guilty July 26 to 937 counts, including murder and kidnapping in the abductions of Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, in a deal with prosecutors that spared him the death penalty.

Two aggravated murder charges stemmed from Castro’s having forcibly ended one victim’s pregnancies after raping her.

Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years.

The women, who had each been missing for a decade or more, were freed in May after neighbors heard Berry’s cries for help and came to her aid.

Berry called 911.

“Help me, I am Amanda Berry,” she said. “I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years. And I’m here, I’m free now.”

After Castro’s death was announced, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty made pointed comments.

“These degenerate molesters are cowards,” McGinty told CNN. “This man couldn’t take, for even a month, a small portion of what he had dished out for more than a decade.”

CNN contributed to this report.

CLEVELAND — “A person can only die in prison once,” Judge Michael Russo told Ariel Castro Thursday in handing down a sentence of life in prison plus 1,000 years.


Castro’s plea deal dropped the death penalty in exchange for life in prison, plus 1,000 years. (CNN)

The judge called the sentence “commensurate with the harm you’ve done.”

Russo, noting that Castro treated his victims as “slaves,” said consecutive sentences rendered in his case must be “imposed” to protect the public and “to punish you.”

“You don’t deserve to be out in our community,” he said. “You’re too dangerous.”

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (KTLA) — Kidnapping victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight released a video on Monday speaking out for the first time since their rescue.


The three women thanked the public for their support in a video posted to YouTube.

In videotaped interviews posted on YouTube, the women thanked the public for their support.

“I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through this entire ordeal, everyone who has been there to support us,” Berry said in the video.

“It has been a blessing to have such an outpouring of love and kindness,” she said.

Berry was last seen after finishing her shift at a Burger King in 2003 on the eve of her 17th birthday.

She has a 6-year-old daughter, who was born during her captivity.

Georgina “Gina” DeJesus disappeared at age 14 in 2004, and Michelle Knight vanished in August 2002, at age 21.

“Thank you for the support,” DeJesus said to the public in the video.

“Thank you everyone for your love, support, and donations which helped me build a brand new life,” Knight said.

“I may have been to hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and with my head held high and my feet firmly on the ground,” she said.

The three women were held captive by Ariel Castro and were beaten, raped and starved for a decade, according to prosecutors.

They were rescued in May after one of them shouted and alerted a neighbor while Castro was gone.

Castro was indicted in June on 329 counts, including one count of aggravated murder for allegedly causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

He was due back in court for another pretrial hearing on July 24.


Undated photo of Ariel Castro from Cleveland Police Dept.

CLEVELAND — Ariel Castro was indicted Friday on 329 counts for allegedly kidnapping and holding captive three young women in his Cleveland house for 10 years, authorities said.

One charge accuses the 52-year-old Castro of aggravated murder for purposely causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy, authorities said.

One of the young women was allegedly impregnated five times by Castro, and another bore a child fathered by him, police have said.

The indictment charges Castro with 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts of felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said in a statement.

Castro will be arraigned next week, authorities said.

The victims were earlier identified by police as Michelle Knight, abducted at age 21 in August 2002; Amanda Berry, abducted at age 16 in April 2003 and who has a 6-year-old daughter by Castro; and Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, who was 14 when kidnapped in 2004.

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ariel Castro, facing kidnapping and rape charges in connection with the Cleveland case of three women held prisoner for about a decade, will plead not guilty, his lawyers said Wednesday.


Ariel Castro booking photo

The announcement, made on national television, is part of the defense’s opening salvos in what could become a death penalty case.

Castro, 52, has been charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, but prosecutors have indicated that he will face more charges from a Cuyahoga County grand jury that is dealing with the case.

Among the new charges could be aggravated murder for allegedly beating one of the women to force miscarriages — a charge officials said could bring the death penalty.

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) Former FBI special agent Jim Clemente visited KTLA Sunday night to discuss the Ariel Castro case.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (KTLA) –  The brothers of accused kidnapper Ariel Castro broke their silence in an interview with CNN.

cleveland-brothers-2Police initially arrested Pedro and Onil Castro, but days later they were released.

Investigators now say neither man had anything to do with the alleged abductions and torture of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.

Still, Pedro and Onil revealed they regret missing so many by clues.

“It’s going to haunt me down because people going to think, yeah, Pedro got something to do with this and Pedro don’t have nothing to do with this,” Pedro Castro said.

“If I knew, I would have reported it. Brother or no brother.”

CNN’s full interview with Pedro and Onil Castro aired Monday, May 13, on Starting Point at 7amET.

CLEVELAND — DNA tests confirm that Ariel Castro is the father of a 6-year-old girl born to one of the three women he is accused of keeping in captivity for close to a decade, the Ohio attorney general’s office said Friday.

Castro’s DNA did not match that from any other open Ohio cases, according to Dan Tierney, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office. National results are pending through the FBI, he said.

Amanda Berry’s 6-year-old daughter was among those rescued Monday when Berry escaped from the home where police say she had been held since Castro allegedly lured her into his car on April 21, 2003.

Also freed: Michelle Knight, who disappeared in 2002 and Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, who vanished in 2004.


Ariel Castro booking photo (Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office)

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Cleveland — Ariel Castro maintained his home as a prison for three young women, holding them in seclusion and sexually assaulting them for his own pleasure, a Cuyahoga County, Ohio, prosecutor told a judge Thursday.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brian Murphy told the judge “the charges against Mr. Castro are based on premeditated, deliberate and depraved decisions to snatch three young ladies from Cleveland’s Westside streets to be used in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit.”

“Today, the situation has turned, your honor,” Murphy said. “Mr. Castro stands before you as a captive. … The women are free to resume their lives that were interrupted.”

Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Lauren Moore ordered Castro held on $8 million bond — $2 million for each of the four victims — the three women and the child born to one of them during her captivity.

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