Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013

US Mystery Abduction

Women were tied, chained, say Ohio police

Amanda Berry (L) and Gina DeJesus (R)

Amanda Berry (L) and Gina DeJesus (R)

Cleveland’s police chief yesterday said the three women held captive in an Ohio house for about a decade were restrained with ropes and chains.
Chief Michael McGrath told US broadcaster NBC that investigators believe the victims were allowed out in the backyard occasionally.
He added Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were in good condition “considering the circumstances”.
Chief McGrath said a charging decision would come later on Wednesday.
Former school bus driver Ariel Castro, 52, who owns the house where the women were found, has been arrested along with his two brothers, Pedro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50.
missed opportunities’
Chief McGrath said: “Currently, today, we are interviewing the suspects that were arrested here the night before last. They are talking.”
The police chief also disputed claims by neighbours that police did not fully investigate reports of suspicious incidents at the property on Seymour Avenue, in a working-class district.
He said he was “absolutely” sure police did not miss any opportunities to find the women over the years.
Neighbours have told news organisations they had made multiple calls to police about the house to report women crying for help or pounding on doors.
Chief McGrath said he could not confirm reports that the captives had had multiple pregnancies.
Police have confirmed a six-year-old girl, Jocelyn, who was discovered along with the women, is Berry’s daughter.
Berry, who disappeared in 2003 aged 16, escaped with the help of a neighbour who heard her screaming while her alleged captor was out of the house.
When police arrived they also found DeJesus, 23, and Knight, 32, in the house.
Ariel Castro reportedly fled the neighbourhood, and was arrested at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant, according to local media. It is unclear when his brothers were detained.