Amanda Marie Berry, left, and Georgina Lynn DeJesus are pictured in undated handout photos released by the FBI.
Two days after three women missing at least a decade were freed from a home in downtown Cleveland, details about the victims and the suspect are starting emerge.
Police say Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were all held captive in a home owned by local musician and bus driver Ariel Castro.
The Cleveland Police Department released the audio of the 911 call made my Charles Ramsey after discovering the Ohio women who had been missing for over a decade.
Neighbors said they had no idea anyone else was inside Castro’s home on Seymour Avenue. They only knew him as a “nice guy” who liked to attend barbecues, listen to Spanish music and ride a four-wheeler.
But police say his home was a prison, where the three women were tied down in order to keep from escaping.
Here is a guide the victims and suspect in the case, and what we know (and don’t know) about them.
Amanda Berry: As a 17-year-old, Berry worked a part-time job at a Burger King. But she left work on April 21, 2003 and never came back. Her mother, the late Louwana Miller, told the Plain Dealer newspaper the next month that she kept Amanda’s bed as it was, and left clean laundry for her stacked on the dresser. The following year, Berry’s case was featured on “America’s Most Wanted.” The mother went on Montel Williams’ talk show, where a self-proclaimed psychic told her that her daughter was probably dead, NBC affiliate WKYC reported. Berry gave birth six years ago in captivity. It was not clear who the father was. On Monday night, a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, spotted Berry kicking the door and screaming: “I’ve been in this house a long time, and I want to leave right now!” Berry called 911, pleading with the dispatcher to send a police car immediately: “I’m Amanda Berry. I’ve been on the news for the last 10 years.”
Gina DeJesus: DeJesus was 14, in seventh grade, when she left school April 2, 2004 to walk home one day and vanished. Her first name is short for Georgina. A website set up to spread word of her disappearance said she had pierced ears — one in the left ear, two in the right. In April, DeJesus’ family held a rally to mark the ninth anniversary of her disappearance. Her mother, Nancy Ruiz, said at the time that she was certain her daughter was alive. On Tuesday, a giant “WELCOME HOME GINA” banner hung from the family’s house, and a growing cluster of brightly colored helium balloons decorated the front of the home. Someone strung her missing-poster photo between the front stoop and the mailbox. DeJesus is now 23.
Michelle Knight: Knight was 21 when she disappeared — the oldest of the kidnapping victims and by far the least known. She was last seen at a cousin’s house on Aug. 22, 2002, not far from where Berry and DeJesus were last seen. Her grandmother, Barbara Knight, told the newspaper that she never believed her granddaughter would disappear without so much as a phone call. But she said family members concluded, based on conversations with police and social workers, that Knight probably ran away because she was angry that her son had been removed from her custody. Knight is 32 today.
Berry's six-year old daughter: Police say Amanda Berry gave birth to a child while in captivity. Chuck Ramsey, a neighbor who helped rescue Berry, said a little girl came out of Castro's home with her. It was unclear who is the father. She has not been named.
NBC News via Cleveland Department of Law.
Booking mugs of Ariel Castro, Onil Castro, Pedro Castro who were arrested in connection with the disappearance of Amanda Berry, Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, and Michele Knight in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ariel Castro: A 52-year-old former school bus driver and bass guitar player who sometimes played in a local merengue band, he lived on Seymour Avenue in downtown Cleveland where police say he held three women captive for a decade by tying them up. He was arrested on Monday after Amanda Berry kicked through the bottom of a door and escaped. Two other missing women, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, were discovered at his home. In 2005, he was accused in a court filing of attacking his former wife Grimilda Figueroa, the Plain Dealer reported. Her lawyer at the time requested that a judge keep him from threatening to kill her, and also said that though Figueroa had full custody with no visitation for Castro, he "frequently abducts daughters and keeps them from mother,’’ the newspaper reported. Nine years ago, police went to Ariel’s home to investigate a child left behind on a bus, but did not charge him. He was fired in November from his bus driver's job after 22 years, the Plain Dealer reported. A post on Ariel Castro's Facebook page says he is the grandfather to five children – four boys and a girl. Castro on Wednesday May 8 was charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.
Onil Castro: At 50, he is the youngest of the three brothers who grew up around their father's used car lot in Cleveland's west end. Nelson Roman, a family friend, told the Plain Dealer that Onil was a heavy drinker who had worked as a handyman but stopped working years ago. He was not married. He was arrested at the same time as his brother Ariel, but wasn't charged with any crime relating to the case.
Pedro Castro: The older brother of Ariel Castro, 54-year-old Pedro Castro lived on the west side of Cleveland, according to police. A family friend told the Plain Dealer that Pedro became involved in alcohol at a young age and dropped out of high school despite being a straight-A student. He had worked as a factory worker in past years but stopped because of his drinking, Nelson Roman said. He was not married. When investigators dug in an empty lot for Amanda Berry last year at a time she was presumed dead, a Pedro Castro told a local Fox affiliate the search was “a waste of money.” It was unclear, however, if the Pedro Castro interviewed is the same man. He was also arrested with his brother but not charged with any crime related to kidnapping case.
Tony Dejak / AP
A daring escape and a dramatic 911 call led to the rescue of three women who allegedly had been held captive for years inside a home in Cleveland, Ohio.
- 'Afraid to talk to your neighbors': Suspects' street was perfect hiding spot
- Women's rescue a triumph and relief for searchers who 'never gave up'
- Meet Chuck Ramsey, dishwasher turned hero