For 11 years 3 young girls in Columbus Ohio were missing and no one had a clue where they went. When all along they were right around the corner, in a neighbors house.
It was August 2002—years before smartphones and Google Maps—and after nearly four hours of wrong turns, Knight spotted the Family Dollar store. She bought a soda and started asking people for directions. A woman in the soda aisle couldn’t help. The cashier couldn’t either. Knight was about to walk out when she heard a male voice: “I know exactly where that is.” She looked up and saw a man with thick, messy hair and a potbelly, dressed in black jeans and a stained flannel shirt.
“Oh my gosh, you’re Emily’s dad!” Knight said. Standing before her was Ariel Castro, the father of a girl she knew from the neighborhood. While Knight had never met him, she’d seen photos of him on Emily’s cell and overheard her talking to him on the phone. So of course she let him give her a ride and unfortunately this was the beginning of the horror she would go through. Michelle had just been through a lot recently loosing custody of her child, she had been raped to conceive in the first place. It’s also said she was mentally behind so she may have been more trusting than others “an easy target” to say the least. Sadly Michelle’s family didn’t seem to care or much notice her disappearance at all. There was no pictures of her on the news, this also hurt Michelle deeply.
April 21, 2003 — Amanda Berry is last seen after finishing her shift at a Burger King restaurant on the eve of her 17th birthday. Later that month a man calls her family from Berry’s cell phone, saying he has taken her and that she will be home in a few days. Amanda seemed to become his favorite of the girls. Unlucky for her of course, but this may have kept her and her baby alive all these years.
April 2, 2004 — Georgina DeJesus stops at a pay phone with a friend around 3 p.m. to ask the friend’s mother whether the two can sleep over at DeJesus’ house. The answer is no. It is the last time she is seen for more than nine years.
On May 6, 2013, Berry saw that Castro failed to lock the home’s “big inside door”, although the exterior storm door was bolted. She screamed for help when she saw neighbors through the screen.
Angel Cordero responded to the screaming but spoke little English. Another neighbor, Charles Ramsey, came to the house’s front door. A hole was kicked through the bottom of the door, and Berry crawled through, carrying her daughter. Once released, she ran to a nearby house and called 911.
“Help me, I’m Amanda Berry … I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years. And I’m here. I’m free now.”
Police arrived shortly afterwards, stormed the house and freed Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.
Ariel Castro was arrested shortly afterwards, charged with kidnapping and rape. Murder charges, relating to his role in the termination of one of captive’s pregnancies, were added later.
He was found guilty and sentenced to 1000 years in prison.
Ariel Castro, 53, was found hanging in his cell around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, located south of Columbus in central Ohio, JoEllen Smith, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman, said.
Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 10:50 p.m.
He was in protective custody because of the notoriety of his case, meaning he was checked every 30 minutes, but was not on suicide watch, Smith said. She said suicide watch entails constant observation.
Castro was also watched closely in Cuyahoga County Jail in the several weeks after his arrest and before his case was resolved by a guilty plea, with logs noting his activity every 10 minutes. He was taken off county jail suicide watch in early June after authorities determined he was not a suicide risk.
Some of the convict’s relatives were distraught about the news.
“I cried for several reasons,” cousin Maria Castro Montes told CNN. ” My first thoughts were if the girls knew. I am talking about the victims. I immediately thought of them and what is going through their minds. Maybe this was for the best. I don’t think they were ever going to find peace with him alive.”
He apparently would starve the girls if they disobeyed, the girls would try to sneak the one in trouble food if possible. He had them trained to not even come out of their rooms without permission. The cops were called by neighbors before, and they suspected nothing. Castro was very well known in the community which I guess would explain why the girls trusted him so much. A neighbor even saw him outside with a little girl (his daughter with Amanda Berry) playing he lied and said it was his girlfriends child. He actually made Michelle Knight miscarry multiple times by beating her so badly. Amanda new she was pregnant and tried to hide it from Castro for as long as she could. Only he didn’t seem so angry when he found out she was pregnant. She was a little relieved but then I think this is when she knew one day she’d have to get out so her baby could have a better life.
He had friends come over sometimes, one man stated that no he didn’t hear anything weird in the house because Castro kept the music loud. If anyone did hear or ask questions he quickly had an excuse handy such as having a dog upstairs.. they never had a dog. Amanda Berry gave birth in that very house, to a beautiful baby girl. That little girl was 6 when they escaped. Thankfully all the girls are safe and Castro is dead, I kinda hate that he killed himself he didn’t deserve an easy way out. No one that knew this man really knew him. These women will live with the terrible things he did to them forever and I personally hope he rots in hell for his crimes.