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Police ask how three women in Cleveland kidnapping went undetected so long

The news that three women – Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight – were held in a Cleveland home for about a decade shocked neighbors, who said they didn't notice anything.

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But Mr. Perez said he now realizes that Castro did display some odd behavior – such as stopping at home for only 10 minutes or an hour – and he speculated that the suspect owned other property, which police are investigating. 

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Staff writer

Allison Terry works on the web team at the Christian Science Monitor, coordinating online infographics. She contributes to the culture section and Global News blog, and previously reported and edited for the national news and cover page desks.

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The FBI collected evidence from the crime scene throughout the night, and the next step will be to piece together 10 years of logistical information, Mr. McGrath said at the news conference.

There is no evidence in city databases that anyone living near the house called authorities about suspicious activity, city Public Safety Director Martin Flask told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. There are also no code violations on the house or calls made to the fire department.

Police visited the house twice in the past 15 years: In 2000, Castro called the police to report a fight, but no arrests were made, and police visited the house in 2004 because, as a school bus driver, Castro left a child unattended on the bus. No one answered the door, and police said there was no criminal intent.

Castro's uncle, Julio, who owns a grocery store half a block from the house on Seymour Avenue, said Castro worked as a school bus driver. Cleveland Metropolitan School District spokesperson Roseann Canfora confirmed that Castro worked as a school bus driver but did not have details about the duration of his employment or whether he left voluntarily or was fired.

It’s unknown whether Castro allegedly gained the three women’s trust through his job as a bus driver, said Cleveland Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba at the press conference Tuesday.

"That's up to the girls to tell us," he said. "We still don't know; that is one of the great unknowns right now. We anticipate getting that information from the ladies, not the suspects."

The Castro family grew up in the same west side Cleveland neighborhood and knew the DeJesus family, Julio Castro told CNN.

Mr. Tomba said that the police and FBI are interviewing members of the Castro family, but they are not at liberty to release any information gained from those conversations. He said the police are working with the prosecutor’s office to file charges within 36 hours from the suspects’ arrest.

• Material from the Associated Press contributed to this report.


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