Ariel Castro’s neighbor Elias Acevedo has confessed to killing two women.
The man who lived in the same block as Cleveland kidnapper also faces multiple rape charges.
Increased scrutiny of missing person cases in a Cleveland neighborhood following the arrest of Ariel Castro led to charges against Elias Acevedo, Sr. for the murders of two women in the 1990s, the FBI said.
Elias Acevedo, Sr., 49, was charged late Thursday with the kidnapping, rape and murder of his 30-year-old neighbor, Pamela Pemberton, found strangled in 1994, and another woman believed to be Christina Adkins, a pregnant 18-year-old who disappeared in 1995. He also is charged with the rape of two young girls.
“Because the public became more aware and investigators were determined and relentless, people were re-interviewed and there was an increased interest in these missing person cases,” FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said Friday.
Elias Acevedo was arrested in June at his Seymour Avenue residence after police questioned Ariel Castro’s neighbors and discovered that Acevedo was a convicted s** offender who had failed to report his current address.
He became a suspect in the Adkins and Pemberton murders after the FBI re-examined the disappearance of other missing women from the Seymour Avenue neighborhood in the aftermath of Ariel Castro’s arrest, according to a statement from the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office.
Cleveland’s Seymour Avenue garnered international attention after three women – Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus – were found with Berry’s 6-year-old daughter in a dilapidated home owned by 53-year-old Ariel Castro. The women had been missing for about a decade; Ariel Castro had fathered the child.
While incarcerated, Elias Acevedo’s DNA was linked to a 1993 rape that occurred near the location where Pemberton’s body was found. The FBI then linked Elias Acevedo to the 1995 disappearance of Christina Adkins, last seen in the vicinity of Seymour Avenue.
Elias Acevedo has confessed to the murders, which means authorities will not seek the death penalty, according to Joe Frolik, spokesman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office.
He led authorities to a spot near a highway where he had put Christina Adkins’ body in a manhole 18 years ago, according to the FBI and prosecutors.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office is in the process of positively identifying what are believed to be Christina Adkins’ remains after her identification card was found nearby.
The indictment against Elias Acevedo includes 115 kidnapping charges and more than 173 charges of rape involving Christina Adkins, Pamela Pemberton and the repeated rapes over a period of months of two girls, starting when they were 8 and 11 years old. He was also charged in the 1993 rape of his brother’s common-law wife.
Elias Acevedo is scheduled to be arraigned in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court Monday. He has not yet been assigned a lawyer, according to court documents.