Ohio kidnapper due in court charged with kidnap and rape
The man suspected of kidnapping and imprisoning three women for a decade in Cleveland is due to make his first court appearance in Ohio on Thursday.
Ariel Castro, a former bus driver, has been charged with kidnap and rape.
The three women were discovered in Castro’s suburban home on Monday after a neighbour, Charles Ramsey, heard one of the captives, Amanda Berry, screaming and kicking a door. He broke down the door to free Ms Berry and her six-year-old daughter, Jocelyn.
When police arrived at the house, they also found Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight inside.
Castro faces four counts of kidnapping relating to the three initial victims, as well as to Berry’s daughter who was born during her mother’s captivity.
Castro is also charged with three counts of rape, one against each of the women.
Police have said that over 200 pieces of evidence has been removed from the home where the three women were imprisoned.
Deputy Police Chief, Ed Tomba, refused to discuss the details of the evidence at a news conference on Wednesday but earlier Michael McGrath, Cleveland’s city police chief, described how the women were “bound” and that there were “chains and ropes in the hall”.
At the news conference Tomba said: “[The victims] don’t believe they’ve been outside of the home for the last 10 years.” The women only remember being allowed into the garage twice and even then only “in disguise”.
He added: “They were not in one room, but they did know each other and they did know each other was there.”
Castro was arrested on Monday along with his two brothers, Pedro and Onil. The brothers were both detained although officials have announced that neither will be charged in relation to the kidnappings.
The pair will make a court appearance on Thursday concerning misdemeanour charges unrelated to their brother’s crimes.
Berry, who disappeared in 2003 aged 16 and DeJesus, who went missing in 2004 aged 14, were released to their families on Wednesday. Knight, who disappeared in 2002 aged 20, remains in hospital.
Jubilant scenes greeted Berry and Dejesus as they arrived at their respective family homes where crowds had gathered to celebrate their return after their ten-year ordeal.
The local community is still coming to terms with the fact that these three women were held for so long just a few miles from where they went missing.