Ariel Castro has been identified as the prime suspect in the astonishing kidnapping case of three women held captive for ten years in Cleveland and he has been taken into custody – as well as two of his own brothers.
Ariel Castro, 52, of Cleveland, Ohio was arrested on Monday after one of the alleged victims, Amanda Berry escaped his home and called police.
He was a school bus driver in the Cleveland area, according to reports.
Only Ariel Castro lived at the home. The brothers lived elsewhere, police told reporters.
Ariel Castro’s Facebook page depicts a man with a passion for motorcycles and the bass guitar.
His last post to the social networking site on May 2 says: “Miracles really do happen, God is good :)”
Cleveland’s police chief said on Monday night that the victims were tied up in the house where they were found and had been there since they disappeared.
The county prosecutor joined dozens of police officers and sheriff’s deputies at the scene as they began searching the house late Monday.
Authorities say the women have been taken to a hospital to reunite with relatives and seem to be in good health.
Michelle Knight had been missing since 2002, Amanda Berry since 2003 and Gina DeJesus since 2004.
Remarkably, Ariel Castro’s son – also named Ariel who now goes by “Anthony” – penned an article for the Cleveland Plain Press about the disappearance of Gina DeJesus back in 2004.
Anthony Castro told WKYC-TV reporter Sara Shookman: “This is beyond comprehension… I’m truly stunned right now.”
Also struck by the allegations, the suspects’ uncle, Julio Castro, told CNN: “I never want to see them again.”
Police didn’t immediately provide any details of how the women were found but said they appeared to be in good health and had been taken to a hospital to be reunited with relatives and to be evaluated.
They said a 6-year-old girl also was found in the home.
On a recorded 911 call Monday, Amanda Berry declared: “I’m Amanda Berry. I’ve been on the news for the last 10 years.”
The woman said she had been taken by someone and begged for police officers to arrive at the home on Cleveland’s west side before he returned.
“I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years,” Amanda Berry told the dispatcher.
“And I’m here. I’m free now.”
Amanda Berry disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King.
Gina DeJesus went missing at age 14 on her way home from school about a year later. They were found just a few miles from where they had disappeared.
Police said Michelle Knight went missing in 2002 and is 32 now. They didn’t provide current ages for the other two women.