CLEVELAND - Charges were filed on Wednesday against the man accused of holding three missing Cleveland women captive for about a decade.
Ariel Castro, 52, faces four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, Assistant City Cleveland Victor Perez said. His brothers, Pedro and Onil Castro, are not charged in the case, but are being held on unrelated warrants.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were discovered alive in a house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland on Monday. The three women went missing in separate incidents on Cleveland's west side.
"I would like to thank the citizens that came to Amanda's immediate assistance when she tried to escape," Perez said.
Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said the women had only been outside twice in about 10 years. During those times, they only walked from the house to the garage, and had to wear disguises. They were not held in one room, Tomba said.
Tomba said Monday was the first time the women had a chance to escape and they had only been outside twice in about 10 years.
"Something must have clicked and she saw an opportunity and she took that opportunity," Tomba said of Berry. "She is the true hero." Berry's screams from inside the house were answered by neighbors who broke down the door and called 911. Charles Ramsey was along those who came to her aid.
"Mr. Ramsey does deserve something, a lot of credit. He is the true key to this case," Tomba said. He said they haven't determined what to do with the reward money.
Authorities would not comment on the conditions of the house, but said it was in disarray. More than 200 items were taken from the house as pieces of evidence. Police executed a search warrant for Castro's DNA to test the paternity of Berry's daughter.
They could not elaborate on the circumstances behind the original kidnappings.
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