|Investigators search home where US girls were held captive
US police searched an unremarkable home in a working-class neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio yesterday after three women who had been missing for around a decade were rescued.
Three brothers have been arrested after one of the captives managed to alert a neighbor, who broke down the door to free her and the six-year-old daughter she apparently bore as a prisoner.
Police responding to a desperate 911 emergency call found two more women in the modest detached home with American and Puerto Rican flags on the porch. All had been reported missing in separate incidents around 10 years ago.
The women – Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32 – were freed on Monday night and examined at a local hospital before being released to their families. The FBI was due to interview them.
“We have evidence response teams there, we have victims specialists working with the families, with the Cleveland police, trying to determine how it did happen,'' said FBI spokesman Paul Bresson.
Relatives of the missing women were shocked and overjoyed.
Police confirmed that Berry has a six-year-old daughter, apparently born while she was in captivity.
The three Ohio women were abducted separately in 2002, 2003 and 2004 but were found together in the home of 52-year-old Ariel Castro.
Castro and his brothers – Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50 – have been detained. Police mugshots revealed them to be thick-set men with gray beards.