Cleveland kidnapping: police hint at what three women's lives were like (+video)
Cleveland law enforcement officials charged Ariel Castro with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape Wednesday and offered tiny glimpses into the captives' lives.
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Public Safety Director Martin Flask said investigators have not confirmed how the ropes and chains were used. A cadaver dog did not find any human remains inside the house or on the property, he said.
It will take several weeks for the FBI to catalog and test the evidence. The victims’ testimonies are the main source of evidence for the charges, Tomba said. The suspect cooperated with the investigators, providing a detailed statement. The suspect was read his Miranda rights, and the police do not suspect him in additional abduction cases. Castro underwent a DNA test to determine if he is the father of the 6-year-old girl, who is Berry’s daughter.
Before the charges were announced, Berry and Ms. DeJesus went home with family members. Ms. Knight remained at Metro Health Medical Center even though the hospital reported that all three women had been released.
Berry arrived at her sister’s home Wednesday morning, led by a police motorcade. Hundreds of neighbors and journalists lined the streets near the house.
Beth Serrano, Berry’s sister, gave a brief statement to the crowd after they arrived.
“At this time, our family would request privacy so my sister and niece and I can have time to recover," Serrano said, choking back tears. "We appreciate all you have done for us for the past 10 years. Please respect our privacy until we are ready to make our statement. And thank you."
Clad in a bright green hooded sweatshirt, DeJesus gave cheering crowd a thumbs up as a family member rushed her inside.
"There are not enough words to say or express the joy that we feel for the return of our family member Gina, and now Amanda Berry, the daughter, and Michelle Knight, who is our family also," Sandra Ruiz, DeJesus' aunt, told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
Investigators are looking into the case of another missing women from the same area, Ashley Summers, who disappeared in 2007 when she was 14 years old. Tomba said the investigation this week has not led to any developments in Ashley's disappearance.
"We're hoping for our miracle, too," said Ashley’s aunt Debra Summers on Tuesday. She described her niece as not the type of girl who would leave without coming back.
• Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.