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Three brothers arrested: what's known so far about alleged Cleveland captors (+video)

Three brothers arrested – Ariel, Pedro, and Onil Castro – are accused of kidnapping and holding Amanda Berry and two other women captive for 10 years. Cleveland neighbors and family members are beginning to talk about the suspects.

By Correspondent / May 8, 2013

This undated combination photo released by the Cleveland Police Department shows from left, Onil Castro, Ariel Castro, and Pedro Casto.The three brothers were arrested Tuesday, after three women who disappeared in Cleveland a decade ago were found safe Monday. The brothers are accused of kidnapping and holding the three women captive for 10 years.

Cleveland Police Department/AP


Authorities could file charges against three brothers accused of kidnapping and holding three women captive for 10 years as early as Wednesday morning, officials say.

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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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Suspects Ariel Castro, Pedro Castro, and Onil Castro were arrested Monday night after Amanda Berry escaped from a house owned by Ariel Castro and called 911. Police also found missing persons Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight in the house. The three women disappeared in separate incidents between 2002 and 2004, and all had been held captive in the Seymour Avenue house on the west side of Cleveland.

Cuyahoga County authorities have 48 hours after an arrest to file charges against the suspects, FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said Tuesday. Federal and local law-enforcement officials will interview the suspects Wednesday, she said.

Details about the three men have emerged as neighbors and family members ask how and why the women could have been held for so long.

"The [brothers] were all good kids," Nelson Roman, a lifelong friend of them, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer Tuesday. "That's why this news is devastating. It's not only horrifying to the families of the kidnapped girls, it's devastating to us, because these brothers were all very good kids who grew up in a very good family. I was shocked to see their pictures on television involved in kidnapping. We've stayed friends over the years and had no idea they were keeping girls hostage."

The Castro family was among the first Puerto Rican immigrants to settle in Cleveland after World War II. The brothers grew up in a family of nine children, and their father owned a car lot in the West 25th Street neighborhood, Adrian Maldonado, who owns a construction consulting company in the area, told The Plain Dealer.

Pedro Castro, the oldest of the three brothers, was a straight-A student in high school, but dropped out his junior year because of a problem with alcohol, Mr. Roman said. Pedro worked a punch-press machine in a factory, but his drinking habits forced him to stop working. In recent years, he was receiving Social Security benefits, Roman said.

Onil Pedro, the youngest brother, also had a problem with drinking, Roman said. He made his living doing odd jobs as a handyman until he was injured while working as a laborer five years ago. Since then, he has been receiving workers' compensation, Roman said.

Middle brother Ariel Castro, who owned the house where the women were found, was known by most people in his neighborhood. He was a school bus driver for 22 years, but he was fired by the Cleveland School District last November after several incidents of “bad judgment,” including leaving a child alone on the bus, making an illegal U-turn, and using the bus to go grocery shopping, according to records released Tuesday.


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