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Cleveland house of horrors suspect Ariel Castro charged with kidnap and rape

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Police arrested three brothers, including Ariel Castro, accused of holding the victims against their will (AP/Cleveland Police Department)

Police arrested three brothers, including Ariel Castro, accused of holding the victims against their will (AP/Cleveland Police Department)

AP

Police arrested three brothers, including Pedro J Castro, accused of holding the victims against their will (AP/Cleveland Police Department)

Police arrested three brothers, including Pedro J Castro, accused of holding the victims against their will (AP/Cleveland Police Department)

AP

Police arrested three brothers, including Onil Castro, accused of holding the victims against their will (AP/Cleveland Police Department)

Police arrested three brothers, including Onil Castro, accused of holding the victims against their will (AP/Cleveland Police Department)

AP

This image provided by the FBI shows the updated "Missing Person" poster for Georgina "Gina" Dejesus. A frantic phone call Monday, May 6, 2013,  led police to a house near downtown Cleveland where  Dejesus and two other women who vanished about a decade ago were found Monday, exhilarating law enforcement authorities, family members and friends who had longed to see them again (AP Photo/FBI)

This image provided by the FBI shows the updated "Missing Person" poster for Georgina "Gina" Dejesus. A frantic phone call Monday, May 6, 2013, led police to a house near downtown Cleveland where Dejesus and two other women who vanished about a decade ago were found Monday, exhilarating law enforcement authorities, family members and friends who had longed to see them again (AP Photo/FBI)

AP

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 08:  Kidnap victim Gina DeJesus gives a thumbs up after arriving home with family members on May 8, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Gina DeJesus was one of three women who was held captive for almost a decade in a home in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight managed to escape their captors on May 6, 2013. Three suspects, brothers Ariel, Pedro and Onil Castro, were taken into custody in connection with the crime.   (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 08: Kidnap victim Gina DeJesus gives a thumbs up after arriving home with family members on May 8, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Gina DeJesus was one of three women who was held captive for almost a decade in a home in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight managed to escape their captors on May 6, 2013. Three suspects, brothers Ariel, Pedro and Onil Castro, were taken into custody in connection with the crime. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Getty Images

This image provided by the FBI shows the updated "Missing Person" poster for Amanda Berry. A frantic phone call Monday, May 6, 2013,  led police to a house near downtown Cleveland where Berry and two other women who vanished about a decade ago were found Monday, exhilarating law enforcement authorities, family members and friends who had longed to see them again (AP Photo/FBI)

This image provided by the FBI shows the updated "Missing Person" poster for Amanda Berry. A frantic phone call Monday, May 6, 2013, led police to a house near downtown Cleveland where Berry and two other women who vanished about a decade ago were found Monday, exhilarating law enforcement authorities, family members and friends who had longed to see them again (AP Photo/FBI)

AP

Amber Berry, right, hugs her sister Beth Serrano after being reunited in a Cleveland hospital Monday May 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Family Handout courtesy WOIO-TV)

Amber Berry, right, hugs her sister Beth Serrano after being reunited in a Cleveland hospital Monday May 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Family Handout courtesy WOIO-TV)

AP

Cleveland Police stand outside a home where they say missing women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight were found in the 2200 block of Seymour Avenue in Cleveland on Monday, May 6, 2013. The three women who went missing about a decade ago were found alive in a residential area just south of downtown, and a man was arrested. (AP Photo/Plain Dealer, Scott Shaw)

Cleveland Police stand outside a home where they say missing women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight were found in the 2200 block of Seymour Avenue in Cleveland on Monday, May 6, 2013. The three women who went missing about a decade ago were found alive in a residential area just south of downtown, and a man was arrested. (AP Photo/Plain Dealer, Scott Shaw)

AP

FILE - In this Friday, March 3, 2004 file photos shows Felix DeJesus, holding a banner showing his daughter's photograph, standing by a memorial in his living room in Cleveland. Cleveland police say two women who went missing as teenagers about a decade ago have been found alive in a residential area about two miles south of downtown. Cheering crowds gathered Monday night on the street near the home where police say Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and a third woman were found earlier in the day. The identity of the third woman hasn't been confirmed. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

FILE - In this Friday, March 3, 2004 file photos shows Felix DeJesus, holding a banner showing his daughter's photograph, standing by a memorial in his living room in Cleveland. Cleveland police say two women who went missing as teenagers about a decade ago have been found alive in a residential area about two miles south of downtown. Cheering crowds gathered Monday night on the street near the home where police say Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and a third woman were found earlier in the day. The identity of the third woman hasn't been confirmed. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

AP

Tasheena Mitchell, cousin of Amanda Berry celebrates outside of MetroHealth Medical Center after Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight were found in a house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, Monday, May 6, 2013. The three women who went missing about a decade ago were found alive in a residential area just south of downtown, and a man was arrested. (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Gus Chan)

Tasheena Mitchell, cousin of Amanda Berry celebrates outside of MetroHealth Medical Center after Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight were found in a house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, Monday, May 6, 2013. The three women who went missing about a decade ago were found alive in a residential area just south of downtown, and a man was arrested. (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Gus Chan)

AP

CLEVELAND, OH, - MAY 07:  The smashed front door of the house where, on Monday, three women who had disappeared as teenagers approximately ten years ago were found alive on May 7, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda Berry, who went missing in 2003, Gina DeJesus, who went missing in 2004, and Michele Knight, who went missing in 2002, were all found alive in the same house. Three suspects, all brothers, have been taken into custody. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH, - MAY 07: The smashed front door of the house where, on Monday, three women who had disappeared as teenagers approximately ten years ago were found alive on May 7, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda Berry, who went missing in 2003, Gina DeJesus, who went missing in 2004, and Michele Knight, who went missing in 2002, were all found alive in the same house. Three suspects, all brothers, have been taken into custody. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Police and FBI congregate outside a house on Cleveland's west side Monday, May 6, 2013 where police say three women were found. The women who went missing separately about a decade ago, when they were in their teens or early 20s, were found alive Monday in a residential area just south of downtown, and three people were arrested.  (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Police and FBI congregate outside a house on Cleveland's west side Monday, May 6, 2013 where police say three women were found. The women who went missing separately about a decade ago, when they were in their teens or early 20s, were found alive Monday in a residential area just south of downtown, and three people were arrested. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

AP

CLEVELAND, OH, - MAY 07:  A general view of the exterior of the house where, on Monday, three women who had disappeared as teenagers approximately ten years ago were found alive on May 7, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda Berry, who went missing in 2003, Gina DeJesus, who went missing in 2004, and Michele Knight, who went missing in 2002, were all found alive in the same house. Three suspects, all brothers, have been taken into custody. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH, - MAY 07: A general view of the exterior of the house where, on Monday, three women who had disappeared as teenagers approximately ten years ago were found alive on May 7, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda Berry, who went missing in 2003, Gina DeJesus, who went missing in 2004, and Michele Knight, who went missing in 2002, were all found alive in the same house. Three suspects, all brothers, have been taken into custody. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Getty Images

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 7:  FBI agents remove evidence from the house where three women who had disappeared as teenagers approximately ten years ago, were found alive on Monday May 7, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda Berry, who went missing in 2003, Gina DeJesus, who went missing in 2004, and Michelle Knight, who went missing in 2002, were all found alive in the same house. Three suspects, all brothers, have been taken into custody. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 7: FBI agents remove evidence from the house where three women who had disappeared as teenagers approximately ten years ago, were found alive on Monday May 7, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda Berry, who went missing in 2003, Gina DeJesus, who went missing in 2004, and Michelle Knight, who went missing in 2002, were all found alive in the same house. Three suspects, all brothers, have been taken into custody. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Investigators at a house in Cleveland where police say three women were found (AP/Mark Duncan)

Investigators at a house in Cleveland where police say three women were found (AP/Mark Duncan)

AP

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Police arrested three brothers, including Ariel Castro, accused of holding the victims against their will (AP/Cleveland Police Department)

The prime suspect in the kidnapping of the three women 10 years ago in Cleveland was charged last night with four counts of kidnapping and three of rape.

Ariel Castro (52), the owner of the property where the captives were held, was indicted after a judge gave police extra time to question him and his brothers, Pedro and Onil.

A search of 2207 Seymour Avenue where the women were held captive revealed no human remains, but Cleveland police chief Michael McGrath said pieces of rope and chain were retrieved from the property, indicating that Amanda Berry and the two other victims, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, had been restrained.

As Ms Berry and Ms DeJesus returned home, Ms Knight remained in seclusion.

A motorcade brought Ms Berry, who was 16 when she vanished and is now 27, to the back door of her sister's house in Cleveland at noon yesterday. With her for the homecoming was Amanda's six-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, who was born in captivity.

Balloons decorated the front porch, creating a fiesta-like atmosphere. "Welcome Home Amanda," a banner read. A crowd of reporters stood in the street outside hoping to catch their first sight of Ms Berry and hear her speak. Instead, it was her sister, Beth Serrano, who emerged to make a brief statement to express thanks for the community's support and ask for privacy.

Amanda's father, John Berry, told reporters that he had briefly spoken to his daughter on Tuesday. "I didn't think she was dead. No, never," he said. "Keep hope. Keep hope. Don't give up till you know because I never gave up."

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Mr Berry said he believed Amanda's "rough and tough" personality kept her alive during her ordeal.

"There's no way to explain. It's the best thing that ever happened to me. Best feeling I ever had," he said of his daughter's release.

Earlier in the day, Amanda had spoken to her grandmother for the first time since she vanished in 2003. "I'm glad to have you back," Fern Gentry mumbled from her home in Elizabethton, Tennessee, fighting back the tears.

Gina DeJesus also returned to the family home she had not seen for nine years yesterday.

The 23-year-old, who hid her face in a yellow hoodie, was seen rushing into the house and tightly embracing her sister Mayra.

And for a brief moment she acknowledged the crowds gathered outside chanting "Gina, Gina" by raising her hand in a thumbs-up sign.

While the embrace of family may help Ms Berry and Gina DeJesus, who disappeared near their homes in Cleveland in 2003 and 2004, a colder world may greet the third woman, Michelle Knight.

When she went missing in 2002, most of her family thought she had run away. Reports suggest she is now suffering from impaired hearing and has damage to her facial bones as a result of the beatings she received at No 2207.

Her mother, Barbara Knight, flew from her home in Naples, Florida, to Ohio in the hope of reuniting with her daughter, but Michelle was said to be resistant to any meeting.

The dramatic phone call

Amanda Berry: Help me, I'm Amanda Berry.

Operator: Do you need police, fire or ambulance?

Berry: I need police.

Operator: Ok, and what's going on there?

Berry: I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here. I'm free now.

Operator: Ok, and what's your address?

(The operator tries to figure out where she is.)

Berry: I'm across the street. I'm using their phone.

Operator: Ok, stay there with those neighbours and talk to the police when they get there.

(The operator repeats her instructions several times.)

Berry: Ok, are they on their |way right now? I need them now.

Operator: We're gonna send them as soon as we get a car open.

Berry: No, I need them now before he gets back.

Operator: All right. We're sending them, Ok?

Berry: Ok. I mean, like, right now.

Operator: Who is the guy who went out?

Berry: His name is Ariel Castro.

Operator: All right. How old is he?

Berry: He's like 52.

Operator: All right, and a...

Berry: And I'm Amanda Berry. I've been on the news for the last 10 years.

Operator: Ok, I got that, dear... what is his name again?

Berry: Uh, Ariel Castro.

Operator: And is he white, black or Hispanic?

Berry: Uh, he's Hispanic.

Operator: What's he wearing?

Berry: I don't know cause he's not here right now. That's how we got away.

Operator: When he left, what was he wearing?

Berry: (Indistinguishable)

Operator: The police are on the way. Talk to them when they get there.

Berry: Ok.

 

The missing teenagers and the agony of their families

Amanda Berry

Amanda went missing on April 21 2003, the day before her 17th birthday. She had just finished work at Burger King and called to say that she was getting a lift home. She never returned. The search was too much for her mother, Louwana Miller, to bear, and she died from heart failure aged 44 in April 2006. Last summer her surviving family thought they had a breakthrough in the case when a 26-year-old, Robert Wolford, claimed she was buried in a vacant lot in the city. Wolford was jailed for four-and-a-half years for obstruction of justice, making a false report and raising a false alarm.

Michelle Knight

Michelle Knight was between 18 and 20 when she vanished, but her case did not receive the same attention. Her grandmother told the cleveland.com website last night that she thought Michelle left of her own free will after her son was taken from her custody. Michelle's mother reported seeing her with a man at a Cleveland mall.

Georgina DeJesus

Gina DeJesus (14), was last seen near a payphone on her way home from school in April 2004. She was with a classmate at the time; her mother had just refused to let Gina stay over at her friend's house even though it was a Friday. In 2006 police received a tip-off that she had been buried under a garage, but no body was found. Her family refused to accept her death, and yesterday her cousin, Sylvia Colon, told the BBC: “Gina's mother... led the crusade. She knew her daughter was alive. She felt it. Gina was very close to her parents. Every year there was a vigil — we were living in hope she would come home, and she did.”


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