Three brothers were arrested after the shocking Monday afternoon escape of three Ohio women from a Cleveland house. Each of the three women was missing for more than nine years.
Amanda Berry, 27, went missing in April 2003. She was the first to escape Monday, fleeing to a neighbor's house along with an unidentified girl to call 911. "Help me, I'm Amanda Berry. .. I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm out here, I'm free now," she told the operator.
Police responding to Berry's call rescued 32-year-old Michele Knight, missing since 2002, and 23-year-old Gina DeJesus, missing since April 2004, from a modest house a block from two major city freeways.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that police arrested three brothers, ages 50, 52 and 54. Although police did not immediately release their names, Berry named 52-year-old Ariel Castro as her abductor in her 911 call and neighbors confirmed to the Plain Dealer he has lived at the address since 1992.
WOIO-TV reports that Castro is a Cleveland City Schools bus driver. The Plain Dealer, however, says he stopped working as a bus driver in November.
Neighbors and family members of the suspects who spoke to the Plain Dealer were as stunned as anyone.
"For me, it's bad on one side and good on the other side," said Julio Castro, an uncle of the suspects, who owns a food shop. He told the paper that Ariel Castro knew DeJesus's family and played bass at a club owned by her uncle. DeJesus was a middle school student when she disappeared.
Longtime neighbor Victor Pratts said Ariel Castro would ride a four-wheeler with him. "We never thought that man would do anything to anybody," he said. "He was a bus driver."
Ariel Castro reportedly fled the neighborhood after neighbors kicked in his house's door to help the women, but he was arrested at an area McDonald's. The three women were taken to a hospital for evaluation. It's unclear when Castro's brothers were arrested.
Berry's mother, Louwana, died of heart failure in 2006 at age 44 after almost three years of searching for her daughter, who vanished after working a shift at an area Burger King.