Charges against Castro brothers expected soonPosted: Updated:
Police have yet to charge the three brothers accused in Cleveland's most high-profile kidnapping case in years.
All three men - Ariel Castro, Onil Castro and Pedro Castro - remain in police custody. Although the usual protocol between the Cleveland Division of Police and the Cleveland Municipal Court is that detectives file charges within 36 hours, Administrative Judge Ronald B. Adrine has extended the charging period in this case to 48 hours, which is within the federal mandate for charging time.
Meantime, more details are emerging about the lives of three women held captive in a west side Cleveland house for years.
According to 19 Action News Reporter Lydia Esparra, Gina DeJesus knew the man suspected of kidnapping her and holding her captive for nearly 10 years.
Family members tell Esparra that Ariel Castro was a relative of DeJesus' best friend, possibly her father.
He's also been to at least two vigils for the missing girls.
Amanda Berry and her daughter Jocelyn, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were found in a house on Seymour Avenue Monday afternoon. Berry was heard by a neighbor screaming for help. The neighbor, Charles Ramsey, helped free Berry and a young girl, 6, believed to be Berry's daughter.
Berry then called 911 begging for help.
"Help me, I'm Amanda Berry. I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for ten years and I'm here. I'm free now."
Officers arrived to the scene within two minutes of getting the call, and recovered Berry and the little girl. DeJesus and Knight then came out of the home.
Berry went missing in 2003 a day shy of her 17th birthday. DeJesus disappeared as she walked home from school in 2004 at the age of 14. Knight went missing in 2002 at the age of 20.
"Words cannot describe the emotion," said FBI Special Agent Stephen Anthony. "Yes, law enforcement officers do cry."
"Prayers have been answered," he added. "The nightmare is finally over and the healing can begin."
Multiple sources confirm two of the women were often held in the basement, and one woman in a room upstairs. Law enforcement sources have told 19 Action News that one of the rooms had chains hanging from the ceiling.
Reporter Ed Gallek also learned that one woman told police she had gotten pregnant more than once, but her captor beat her and she ended up losing the babies.
Former CMSD school bus driver Ariel Castro, 52, and his brothers, Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, are in police custody. Charges are forthcoming.
Police were called to Castro's west side home two times - once in 2000 for a fight in the street and again in 2004 after Castro inadvertently left a child on his school bus. Nothing criminal came of that investigation.
"Amanda Berry is the real hero," said Deputy Chief Ed Tomba. "She is the one that got this rolling. Without her, none of us would be here today."
Neighbors on Seymour have been captivated by the story unfolding before their eyes.
"Unless they built some sort of dungeon I cannot believe someone did not notice something," one neighbor said.
Maria Castro Montes is only too sorry that the accused kidnappers are her cousins, who she says have shamed the family name, "Our pain is minimal compared to the pain of those girls."
Media from around the world have come to tell the story as well.
The Cleveland Branch of the FBI wants people to call 216-522-1400 to provide any tips relative to this investigation.
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