Police Facing Questions In 3 Women's Ohio Rescue

By: CBS/AP (Posted by Amanda Lanum)
By: CBS/AP (Posted by Amanda Lanum)

CLEVELAND (CBS/AP) -- One neighbor says a naked woman was seen crawling on her hands and knees in the backyard of the house a few years ago. Another heard pounding on the home's doors and noticed plastic bags over the windows.

Both times, police showed up but never went inside, neighbors say. Police also paid a brief visit to the house in 2004.

Now, after three women who vanished a decade ago were found captive Monday at the peeling, rundown house, Cleveland police are facing questions for the second time in four years about their handling of missing-person cases and are conducting an internal review to see if they overlooked anything.

City Safety Director Martin Flask said Tuesday that investigators had no record of anyone calling about criminal activity at the house but were still checking police, fire and emergency databases.

The three women were rescued after one of them kicked out the bottom portion of a locked screen door and used a neighbor's telephone to call 911.

"Help me. I'm Amanda Berry," she breathlessly told a dispatcher in a call that exhilarated and astonished much of the city. "I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm, I'm here, I'm free now."

Berry, 27, Michelle Knight, 32, and Gina DeJesus, about 23, had apparently been held captive in the house since their teens or early 20s, said Police Chief Michael McGrath. CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reported that the three women were held in restraints for some time of their captivity.

Three brothers -- Ariel Castro, Onil Castro and Pedro Castro -- whose ages are between 50 and 54 -- were arrested. Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver, owned the home, situated in a poor neighborhood dotted with boarded-up houses just south of downtown Cleveland. No immediate charges were filed but the suspects are expected to be charged on Wednesday.

A 6-year-old girl believed to be Berry's daughter was also found in the home, said Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba. He would not say who the father was.

The women were reported by police to be in good health and were reunited with joyous family members but remained in seclusion.

Robert Osario, a cousin of Gina DeJesus, told Reynolds that Gina was happy and that her spirits were high when asked how she looked. He also knew the suspect Ariel Castro for over 20 years. "We never suspected anyone like that would do something like this," Osario said.


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