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Police find three longtime missing women after frantic 911 call; case had former false starts

Posted May 7, 2013 7:13 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Updated: Police have arrested three brothers after receiving a frantic 911 call from a woman who told police she had escaped from a home in Cleveland after being kidnapped 10 years ago.

Three women—Amanda Berry, 27; Gina DeJesus, 23; and Michelle Knight, 32—were found on Monday at a home near downtown Cleveland, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Cincinnati Enquirer report. They had disappeared between nine and 11 years ago. Berry called police after escaping from the home with the help of neighbors who heard her screaming. A 6-year-old child was also found.

The three women were in fair condition, an emergency room doctor said at a Monday evening press conference. At a news conference the next morning, police identified the three brothers as Pedro Castro, 54; Ariel Castro, 52; and Onil Castro, 50, according to a more recent story from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Neighbors said the owner of the home is Ariel Castro, a school bus driver until last November, the Cleveland Plain Dealer says. He was arrested for domestic violence in 1993, according to records, but a grand jury opted not to indict him, the story says.

The case had some false starts over the years. A prison inmate told authorities they could find Berry’s remains in a Cleveland lot and accompanied authorities to the location last summer. He later pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, making a false report and making a false alarm, the Enquirer says.

Two men were arrested for questioning in the disappearance of DeJesus in 2004. They were released in 2006 after a search of their home didn’t turn up a body, according to the Enquirer.

Updated at 10:06 a.m. with additional details from a police press conference.

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