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Cleveland Kidnapping Victims May Have Suffered Malnutrition, Multiple Miscarriages

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 7, 2013 8:30PM

Ariel, Onil and Pedro Castro. (Cleveland Police Department)

- More details of Cleveland kidnapping victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight and their alleged kidnappers are starting to come out. Cleveland ABC News affiliate WEWS reports Amanda Berry’s 6-year-old daughter may not have been the only baby born in the home. As many as five other babies may have been born in the home while one of the women may have suffered two to three miscarriages due to malnourishment.

According to WVUE, the Fox affiliate in Cleveland, all three women appeared to be malnourished when they were found, with Michelle Knight suffering hearing loss and structural damage to her face. She told police she was hit on the head. Another source told WVUE that Knight told police of a fourth woman who was once inside the home, but that one day she woke up and the woman was missing. Police found evidence of a woman’s name and the words “Rest in Peace” written on the wall of suspect Ariel Castro’s basement, but they don’t know if it’s related to the case.

- According to WEWS, police found chains and other bondage materials in Castro’s basement:

A source said Ariel Castro kept Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, at times, tied up with the chains and tape. The source said the girls were kept separate in different rooms. They were possibly untied at different times.

- In another weird twist in this story, Ariel Castro’s son, Ariel “Anthony” Castro, once interviewed the mother of Gina DeJesus about her disappearance for the Plain Press, a weekly newspaper, in 2004. Anthony Castro was attending Bowling Green State University at the time and studied journalism. Anthony Castro spoke with WKYC’s Sara Shookman and said he was “truly stunned” by the turn of events.

- Emily Castro, another of Ariel Castro’s children, was convicted in 2008 of slashing her 11-month-old daughter’s throat in April 2007 in Fort Wayne, Ind. The judge in that case found her guilty but mentally ill and sentenced her to 30 years in prison, with the last five suspended and to be served on probation.

Emily Castro’s attorneys argued she suffered from depression for years before the birth of her daughter Janyla and eventually became paranoid her family was plotting to kill her and the baby. Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck, in his ruling, said there was ample evidence Emily Castro suffered from mental illness yet it didn’t stop her from knowing right from wrong.

- Ariel Castro's history is beginning to come to light, and it involves a short temper and domestic abuse. reports Castro was accused of beating his former wife, Grimilda Figueroa. A 2005 suit filed in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court claimed Figueroa "suffered two broken noses, broken ribs, a knocked-out tooth, a blood clot on the brain and two dislocated shoulders" from Castro. Castro also was accused of kidnapping his daughters with Figueroa and not returning them. Figueroa died last year.

- Sandra Ruiz, an aunt of Gina DeJesus, told Cleveland media DeJesus' return to her family was a miracle, but asked for some privacy at this time. "Support our family by not crowding us. We promise, at the right time, we will give you all the information you can have,” Ruiz said.

- Michelle Knight's mother, Barbara, told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer she's still trying to come to grips with the discovery her daughter is alive, having had her hopes dashed before. Barbara Knight, who lives in Florida, has been keeping tabs of the story via news reports and hopes she can help her daughter re-acclimate to the outside world once she's ready. She described Michelle Knight as an ideal child until she turned 17, when a series of events sparked by an assault in school that led t her dropping out after she became pregnant. Barbara Knight said police "did little to investigate her disappearance and and theorized that Michelle likely left of her own accord, embittered by the custody battle."

- The Cleveland Plain-Dealer unearthed a 2004 video of one of the suspects' daughters, Arlene Castro, appearing on America's Most Wanted and said Gina DeJesus was a classmate and one of her best friends. She also said she was one of the last people to see DeJesus alive. See video below. (Found via Slate)


3 Women Who Disappeared Over 9 Years Ago Found Alive In Cleveland

Cleveland Police Confirm 6-Year-Old Found In Home Is Amanda Berry's Daughter