After 10 long years, three missing women were found alive Monday afternoon — Amanda Berry. Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight — after being kidnapped and held against their will in a house with their three kidnappers, were immediately taken to Cleveland’s MetroHealth Medical Center. The now 27 yearold Berry was the first one to escape the house, followed by a small child. Once the police arrived, they were able to enter the house and retrieve the other two women.
Three brothers living in the house were arrested by police but their names were not released. Neighbors did state that the house belonged to Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver who has a record of domestic violence. Neighbors also told reporters that Castro mostly kept to himself, usually entering the house through the back door and keeping the lights dim or completely off.
Perhaps the most frightening part of this kidnapping, however, lies in a news article written by the son of the owner of the house where the three girls were held, also named Ariel Castro. Castro wrote for the paper as a journalism student, and her June 2004 story was a piece about the anxiety the neighborhoods where DeJesus and Berry lived had begun feeling shortly after her abduction. A spokesman for the newspaper, Plain Press, stated that the relationship of Ariel Castro to the man in police custody was unknown to the paper.
In that article, Castro wrote, "For seven weeks, Gina's family has been organizing searches, holding prayer vigils, posting fliers and calling press conferences," Castro wrote. "Despite the many tips and rumors that have been circulating in the neighborhood, there has been no sign of her. One thing is for certain, however. Almost everyone feels a connection with the family, and Gina's disappearance has the whole area talking."