Young girl found with 3 women missing for a decade

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by KEVIN DOLAK (@kdolak) and ANTHONY CASTELLANO

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 7, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 27 at 10:56 AM

(ABC News) --   A child found in Cleveland with the three women who had been missing for a decade is the daughter of one of the women, police said.

The women, who vanished in separate cases near their homes in Cleveland, were found Monday only miles from where they disappeared, and three brothers have been arrested in connection to the incident, according to police.

Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry, 27, and Michele Knight, 32, were found alive Monday night, and Cleveland Police Cmd. Keith Sulver said all three women were getting medical treatment at Metro Health Medical Center but seemed to be in good condition.

"I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years," Berry told a 911 operator after breaking free. "And I'm here. I'm free now."

 The child was also carried out of the home but the child's identity or age has not been released by police. The child is Berry's daughter, according to ABC News affiliate WEWS-TV, quoting police.

Police confirmed to WEWS that one of the men taken into custody is 52-year-old Ariel Castro. WEWS also reports a background check shows he owns the home where the three women were living.

Authorities believe Castro, who was once a city school bus driver, was keeping the women locked inside his modest two-story home, which he has owned since 1992, ABC News has learned.

Police have not identified his brothers, who are ages 50 and 54, according to authorities. Chargers could come as early as today.


 Berry identified Ariel Castro by name in her 911 call.

RELATED: Listen to Amanda Berry's 911 Call

"Um, his name is Ariel Castro," Berry said. "He's like 52."

The dispatcher pressed for more information, including what he was wearing.

 "I don't know, because he's not here right now. That's why I ran away," Berry said.

Neighbors said they heard cries for help coming from a house on Seymour Avenue around 6 p.m., and when they went to investigate, kicked open the door of the home to get the women out.

Neighbor Charles Ramsey said that he was eating at McDonald's when he heard a girl screaming and begging for help.



"I look and I see this girl and she's just going nuts on the door so, I'm like, 'What's your problem? If you're stuck, just open the door.' She said 'I can't, you got it locked,'" he said.

Ramsey said that their attempt to pry the door open failed, so he and his neighbor kicked open the bottom.

"Luckily … it was aluminum, it was cheap," he said, "And she climbed out with her daughter. ... She went to my house, we called 911."

Berry came out of the home, carrying a child in her arms, which Ramsey identified as her daughter. Berry immediately called 911, asking police for help.

"Hello police help me I'm Amanda Berry," she said in the call. "I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm here. I'm free now. ... I've been in the news for the last 10 years ... with Gina."

Berry told arriving police officers that there were more women inside the home. Police, with their guns drawn, entered the house and returned with DeJesus and Knight.

Ramsey said the women looked malnourished when they came out of the house.

"They look like they haven't been fed in a long time … They were skinny when they came out of that house," he said. The victims are being examined for possible abuse at the hospital, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

RELATED: Neighbors say Clevland kidnap suspect a 'charismatic' guy

Ramsey said he'd barbecued with the home's owner and never suspected something was amiss.

"There was nothing exciting about him — well, until today," he said.

Ramsey said that he was shocked when police told them whom he had rescued.

"He said, 'Do you know who you just rescued out of the house?' I said brother, 'a couple of females.' He said no, no, no. 'You got Amanda and you got Gina,'" Ramsey said.

 This saga began as three separate cases starting Aug. 23, 2002, when Knight, then in her 20s, was last seen leaving her cousin's house.

Berry disappeared at age 16 April 21, 2003, the day before her 17th birthday. She had called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King, The Associated Press reported.

Finally, on April 2, 2004, DeJesus, who was 14 at the time, disappeared on her way home from school.

 The cases have consumed the Cleveland community for years and gained national attention and were profiled on "The Montel Williams Show" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show." The missing persons posters have been a part of the community for a decade by families who refused to give up.

Overnight, countless family members, friends and even elated strangers cheered outside of Metro Medical Center where the three women are recovering.

One person who could not make it was Berry's mother, Louwanna Miller.

Zayda Delgado, a neighbor, told ABC News Miller died in 2006.

"I feel bad because the mother died never knowing that her daughter was still alive," she said.

A police news conference is scheduled for later this morning.

ABC News' Alex Perez and Courtney Condron contributed to this report.

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