UPDATE: FBI: No Human Remains Among Cleveland Evidence

UPDATE: The FBI says it did not recover human remains in its search of a Cleveland house where a man is accused of holding three women captive for a decade.

Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus as seen in photos posted on the FBI missing persons site

UPDATED Friday, May 10, 2013 -- 10:41 a.m.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The FBI says it did not recover human remains in its search of a Cleveland house where a man is accused of holding three women captive for a decade.

FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson says investigators have for now concluded their search at the house where the women were found earlier this week.

Anderson said Friday that agents took more than 200 items from the house, though she wouldn't discuss what was found.

Prosecutors said Thursday they may seek the death penalty against suspect Ariel Castro. Police say he impregnated one of his captives at least five times and made her miscarry by starving her and beating her.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says tests have confirmed that Castro is the father of a 6-year-old girl rescued from the house. One of the captive women is the girl's mother.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Ohio attorney general says tests have confirmed that alleged kidnapper Ariel Castro is the father of a 6-year-old girl rescued from his house with three women this week.

Attorney General Mike DeWine's office confirmed Castro's paternity in a news release Friday. DeWine says a sample of Castro's DNA was taken Thursday and forensic scientists worked through the night on the case.

The girl is the daughter of Amanda Berry, who authorities say was held for about a decade in Castro's house in Cleveland along with Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight.

Castro is being held on $8 million bond.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, May 9, 2013 --- 12:14 p.m.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A prosecutor in Cleveland says the three women who were missing for about a decade until they were found Monday in the home of Ariel Castro had been beaten repeatedly and sexually assaulted.

Brian Murphy is accusing Castro of using the women "in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit."

Castro appeared in court this morning for arraignment on charges of rape and kidnapping. Bond was set at $8 million. He looked down at the floor for nearly the entire hearing, and didn't speak.

Investigators say the women endured a decade in captivity inside a dingy home where they were raped and were allowed outside only a handful of times. One of them gave birth to a daughter.

Police say the women were apparently bound by ropes and chains at times and were kept in different rooms.

Castro is charged with four counts of kidnapping -- covering the captives and the daughter -- and three counts of rape.

A public defender who represented him in court today said he would be transferred from a city jail medical unit, and would probably be under suicide watch while at the county jail.

She says he didn't have a chance to talk to his two brothers, who were arrested and were then cleared without charges.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, May 8, 2013 --- 6:06 p.m.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A Cleveland man arrested after three women missing for a decade were found alive at his run-down home was charged Wednesday with kidnapping and raping them. Prosecutors brought no charges against his brothers, saying there was no evidence they had any part in the crime.

Ariel Castro, 52, was charged with four counts of kidnapping -- covering all three captives and the daughter born to one of them while she was held -- and three counts of rape against the three women.

The former school bus driver owns the peeling home where the women were rescued on Monday, after one of them broke through a screen door while Castro apparently was away.

At a news conference, authorities gave few details on the women's ordeal. But police said earlier in the day that they were apparently bound with ropes and chains, and a city councilman briefed on the case, Brian Cummins, said that they were subjected to prolonged sexual and psychological abuse and suffered miscarriages.

"We know that the victims have confirmed miscarriages, but with who, how many and what conditions we don't know," Cummins said. He added: "It sounds pretty gruesome."

Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba said the women could remember being outside only twice during their entire time in captivity. "We were told they left the house and went into the garage in disguise," he said.

And their first opportunity to escape didn't come until Monday, he said. The women were not kept in the same room, but knew they were not alone, he said.

He also said a paternity test on Castro was being done to establish who fathered the now 6-year-old child of captive Amanda Berry.

Castro was in custody and couldn't be reached for comment. A brother-in-law has said the family was "shocked" after hearing about the women at the home.

Castro's brothers, Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, were also arrested after the women were rescued, but there was no evidence they had any part in the crime, Cleveland Prosecutor Victor Perez said.

Earlier in the day, Berry and former captive Gina DeJesus were welcomed home by jubilant crowds of loved ones and neighbors with balloons and banners Wednesday. Family members protectively took them inside, past hundreds of reporters and onlookers.

Neither woman spoke, and their families pleaded for patience and time alone.

"Give us time and privacy to heal," said Sandra Ruiz, DeJesus' aunt. Ruiz thanked police for rescuing the women and urged the public not to retaliate against the suspects or their families.

The third captive, Michelle Knight, 32, was reported in good condition at Metro Health Medical Center, which a day earlier had reported that all three victims had been released. There was no immediate explanation from the hospital.

The Associated Press does not usually identify people who may be victims of sexual assault, but the names of the women were widely circulated by their families, friends and law enforcement authorities for years during their disappearance.

In a development that astonished and exhilarated much of Cleveland, the three women were rescued after Berry, 27, broke through a screen door at the Castro house and told a 911 dispatcher: "Help me. I'm Amanda Berry. I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm, I'm here, I'm free now."

Law enforcement officials left many questions unanswered, including how the women were taken captive.

Neighbors said that Ariel Castro took part in the search for one of the missing women, helped pass out fliers, performed music at a fundraiser for her and attended a candlelight vigil, where her comforted her mother. As recently as 2005, Castro was accused of repeated acts of violence against his children's mother.

On NBC's "Today" show, Police Chief Michael McGrath said he was "absolutely" sure police did everything they could to find the women over the years. He disputed claims by neighbors that officers had been called to the house before for suspicious circumstances.

We have no record of those calls coming in over the past 10 years," McGrath said. On Tuesday, some neighbors said that they had told police years ago about hearing pounding on the doors of the home and seeing a naked woman crawling in the yard.

DeJesus, who disappeared in 2004 and is in her early 20s, arrived home in the afternoon Wednesday to chants of "Gina! Gina!" Wearing a bright yellow hooded sweatshirt, she was led through the crowd and into the house by a woman who put her arm around the young woman's shoulders and held her tight.

Her father pumped his fist after arriving home with his daughter, and he urged people across the country to watch over the children in their neighborhoods -- including other people's kids.

"Too many kids these days come up missing, and we always ask this question: How come I didn't see what happened to that kid? Why? Because we chose not to," he said

Berry arrived at her sister's home, which was similarly festooned with dozens of colorful balloons and signs, one reading "We Never Lost Hope Mandy." Hundreds cheered wildly but weren't able to get a glimpse of Berry as she went in through the back.

A 2005 domestic-violence filing in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court accused Ariel Castro of twice breaking the nose of his children's mother, knocking out a tooth, dislocating each shoulder and threatening to kill her and her daughters three or four times in a year.

The filing for a protective order by Grimilda Figueroa also said that Castro frequently abducted her daughters and kept them from her.

In 1993, Castro was arrested on a domestic-violence charge and spent three days in jail before he was released on bail. A grand jury did not return an indictment against him, according to court documents, which don't detail the allegations. It was unclear who brought the charge.

Police said Castro was also questioned about the 2007 disappearance of 14-year-old Ashley Summers, who vanished near the Castro house. But Tomba said there was no new information linking that case to Castro.

"We're hoping for our miracle, too," said Ashley's aunt, Debra Summers.

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UPDATED Wednesday, May 8, 2013 --- 2:03 p.m.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A second woman rescued after being held captive for about a decade in Ohio is now home with her family.

Gina DeJesus, who disappeared in 2004, arrived home Wednesday afternoon to chants of "Gina! Gina!"

Wearing a bright hooded shirt, DeJesus was escorted into her home by a woman with her arm around her.

Earlier Wednesday, Amanda Berry arrived at her sister's home. Berry's sister made a brief statement thanking the public for their support but asking for privacy.

Charges against the man who owns the home where three women were found and his two brothers are expected to come Wednesday.

A 911 call led police to his house near downtown Cleveland where Berry, DeJesus and the third woman, Michelle Knight, were found Monday. All three had vanished over the last decade.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, May 8, 2013 --- 11:05 a.m.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The sister of Amanda Berry, one of the three women freed after being held captive for about a decade at an Ohio home, has made a brief statement saying the family is thankful for the community's support but is asking for privacy.

Berry arrived at her sister's house Wednesday morning.

Charges against the man who owns the home and his two brothers are expected to come Wednesday.

Ariel Castro and his brothers are in jail but haven't been charged.

A 911 call led police to his house near downtown Cleveland where Berry and two other women, who disappeared over several years, were found Monday.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 7, 2013 --- 6:02 p.m.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A man who owns the Cleveland home where three women who vanished a decade ago were found alive is well-known in the mainly Puerto Rican neighborhood.

Ariel Castro is one of three brothers arrested in the missing-persons case. Neighbors say he played bass guitar in salsa and merengue bands and gave neighborhood children rides on his motorcycle.

They say Castro also joined others at a candlelight vigil to remember two of the missing girls.

Officials say Castro and his brothers, ages 50 to 54, are in custody after a 911 call led them to the house near downtown Cleveland. The three women, who disappeared over several years, were found Monday.

The uncle of one of the women says he played in bands with Castro. He says he's in shock over what's happened.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 7, 2013 --- 10:48 a.m.

Three women who disappeared in Cleveland a decade ago were found safe Monday, and police arrested three brothers accused of holding the victims against their will. A timeline of key events in the case:

-- Aug. 23, 2002: Michelle Knight, 20, vanishes. She was last seen at a cousin's house near Lorain Avenue and West 106th Street.

-- April 21, 2003: Amanda Berry, 16, disappears after leaving her job at a Burger King at the corner of Lorain Avenue and West 110th Street, a few blocks from her home.

-- January 2004: Police go to Ariel Castro's home at 2207 Seymour Ave., about 3 miles from where Knight and Berry were last seen. No one answers the door. Child welfare officials had alerted police that Castro, a school bus driver, apparently left a child unattended on a bus. Police later spoke to Castro and determined there was no criminal intent.

-- April 2, 2004: Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, 14, disappears while walking home from school. She was last seen at a telephone booth at the corner of Lorain Avenue and 105th Street.

-- March 2, 2006: Berry's mother, Louwana Miller, 43, dies after being hospitalized with pancreatitis and other ailments. She had spent the previous three years looking for her daughter.

-- May 6, 2013: Knight, Berry, DeJesus and a 6-year-old girl believed to be Berry's daughter are found at Castro's home. Police arrest three brothers, Ariel Castro, Pedro Castro and Onil Castro, in connection with the women's disappearances.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 7, 2013 --- 10:12 a.m.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A Cleveland police official says a 6-year-old girl found in the house where three missing women were kept for years is the daughter of one of them.

A frantic 911 call led police to a house near downtown Cleveland, where the three women were found Monday.

Police say Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were held inside the house since they were in their teens or early 20s.

Cleveland police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba says the girl is believed to be Amanda Berry's daughter.

Knight disappeared in 2002, Berry in 2003 and DeJesus about a year after that.

Officials say three brothers, ages 50 to 54, are in custody.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted, Tuesday May 7, 2013 -- 8:05 a.m.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The three women who disappeared a decade ago in Cleveland and were found alive are out of the hospital.

Metro Health Medical Center says all three were released Tuesday morning.

A frantic 911 call led police to a house near downtown Cleveland, where the three women were found Monday.

Police Chief Michael McGrath says Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were tied up at the house and held there since they were in their teens or early 20s.

Three brothers were arrested. Authorities released no names and gave no information about them or what charges they might face.

Officials have scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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