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Cleveland Kidnappings: Wednesday's Developments

NPR icon by Mark Memmott
David Maxwell

We're following the latest news about the three young women who were rescued Monday from a home in Cleveland where authorities suspect they had been held captive for about a decade, and the investigation into what happened to them. As the day began, Wednesday's stories and developments included:

-- "Cleveland Community Wonders How Abducted Women Were Held For So Long." On Morning Edition, WCPN's David Barnett reported from the neighborhood where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were found (along with a 6-year-old girl who police say is Berry's daughter). Neighbors are shocked that the women may have been held against their will in a home there and many are wondering what they missed and what they might have done.

"I wish I could say I was ecstatic that they found the girls," said Juan Perez, one of the residents. "I'm happy that they're OK, but I felt a tug in my heart that I did not help, I did not know. Ten years? And I know I'm not the only one on the block that thinks like that. We're torn between happy and ashamed."

-- "Specially Trained FBI Agents Will Help Kidnapped Women Heal." Also on Morning Edition, NPR's Carrie Johnson reported that investigators and experts who deal with victims of such crimes say that right now the three women need privacy most of all. "Victims are resilient. People can come out of this and be healthy productive human beings afterward," says Mai Fernandez, executive director of the nonprofit National Center for Victims of Crime. "But we need to give them the time and the space to be able to do this."

-- "Focus Of Women's Disappearance Shifts Attention To Castro Brothers." Cleveland's Plain Dealer writes that "a day after authorities arrested Ariel, Onil and Pedro Castro in the kidnappings of Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry, a troubling portrait is emerging of the men. The men, reared in a strict family, have been accused in one of the most heinous crimes in the city's history." Among the things being learned about the men:

"Court records indicate Ariel Castro fought with his former wife, Grimilda Figueroa, over the custody of their children. Figueroa twice suffered a broken nose, as well as broken ribs, a knocked-out tooth, a blood clot on the brain and two dislocated shoulders, according to a 2005 filing in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court. In the filing, her attorney requested that a judge 'keep (Castro) from threatening to kill (Figueroa).' "

-- "Charges Expected Soon." The three brothers who have been arrested "may face charges including kidnapping and rape," WCPN reports. "Formal charges in the case have not yet been filed."

Related posts:

-- Are We Laughing With Charles Ramsey?

-- Neighbor In Cleveland: 'I Thought This Girl Was Dead!'

Note: As happens when stories such as this are developing, there will likely be reports that turn out to be mistaken. We will focus on news being reported by NPR, other news outlets with expertise, and statements from authorities who are in a position to know what's going on. And if some of that information turns out to be wrong, we'll update.

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