Riverside Domestic Violence Blogs from May, 2013


On Monday May 6, 2013, three Cleveland girls were found alive and were able to escape from their kidnapper after being held captive for a decade in a home on Seymore. The three victims were found after a neighbor heard the girls' desperate cries for help and heard a woman pounding at the locked door. The neighbor then proceeded to kick open the door when Berry escaped with her small child. The kidnapping victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were being held in a West Cleveland house just miles from where they were first kidnapped. Neighbors shared that the shades of the home were always pulled down and the doors were always locked.

Law enforcement officials have shared that while the women were in captivity, there three captors would forcibly rape and beat them, even while they were in a fragile pregnant state. The repeated sexual assault resulted in a total of five pregnancies between the three girls. Sources say that one of the women suffered at least two or three miscarriages during her captivity because she was malnourished.

Michelle Knight was the first woman to be captured back in 2002 at the age of 21. At the time of her kidnapping she was in the middle of a child custody battle fighting for her son. Amanda Berry first went missing back in April of 2003 and during her ten years of captivity she was impregnated and now has a six-year-old daughter. In 2004, Gina DeJesus was then kidnapped at the age of 14. While in captivity the three women were allowed to watch T.V. so they happened to see themselves on the news and had the address of the captors' home memorized. Police enforcement officials are calling Amanda Berry's actions "heroic" as it is most likely the reason that the other two women were able to escape as well. Berry escaped to a house across the street where she made a 911 phone call to dispatch. She told them the address of where to find them and said that she had escaped while Ariel Castro was away from the house.

The suspected captors were three Hispanic brothers by the names of Ariel Castro, Onil Castro and Pedro Castro. Ariel Castro, reported to be a former school bus driver, seems to be the only one that participated in the crime. The other two brothers deny any knowledge of the kidnapping and were later freed from jail. Since then, they have shared on CNN that they believe they believe their brother to be a "monster" and they wipe their hands clean of him. Whenever the brothers did go over to Ariel's home, they said that the kitchen was separated by a curtain and the radio or T.V. was always on to drown out any noise. Ariel Castro could not be facing a life sentence in prison or the death penalty.