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Ariel Castro would 'freak me out,' says neighbor

John Makely / NBC News

Kayla Adams lives on Castle Avenue., directly behind suspect Ariel Castro's house.

CLEVELAND – They’re the neighbors directly behind Cleveland’s house of horrors.

Verdi and Kayla Adams never knew three women lived in captivity for a decade on the other side of their fence, as police claim, but they did have encounters with their neighbor, suspect Ariel Castro.

Castro, a former school bus driver, is charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape in a case that has brought worldwide attention to Seymour Avenue.

John Makely / NBC News

Verdi Adams, 32, is a tattoo artist who lives on Castle Ave directly behind the suspect's house.

Today, prosecutor Brian Murphy called the kidnappings of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight – they escaped Monday -- a “horrifying ordeal.” Castro is being held on $8 million bail.

Separating their yard from Castro’s house yard, Verdi Adams said, is a chain link fence and an 8-foot wooden barricade next to a garage, which blocks off much of the view.

“You couldn’t see anything,” said Verdi Adams, a 32-year-old tattoo artist. “He made sure you couldn’t see into his backyard. And the only person he had to worry about beside that was to his right.”

But the couple said they did notice Castro displayed some odd behavior.

He would stand in the corner and watch kids play and “would just stare off, ” Verdi Adams said. “He’d be standing at the back gate with his dog staring off.”

It’s a pattern, Kayla Adams, 26, also noticed.

John Makely / NBC News

Verdi Adams, left, walks back to his home on Castle Avenue.

“I’d take the dog out and he’d be standing at the backyard, right there at the fence, and he’d just be there staring at me,” said Kayla Adams. “He’d freak me out…. It was just kind of creepy because he’d be standing there staring.”

She also said that when they first moved into their home in December, they would hear sounds coming from around the house, like people walking around.

“We kept hearing the screen door, kept hearing the fence moving,” she said. “It was wintertime and once (her husband Verdi) got out there there would be nothing.”

The Adams say they moved into what they call a “normal” neighborhood, but their world has been turned upside down. 

Castro's whole backyard is enclosed as a crime scene with investigators, who even brought in cadaver dogs, combing over every inch.

Plus, Verdi's tattoo clients won't come around anymore.

“I don’t like the idea of living in a place like this,” he said.


Judge sets bond at $8 million for accused Cleveland kidnapper