Puerto Rican Ariel Castro and his two brothers are suspects in the kidnapping of Amanda Berry, Gina De Jesus and Michelle Knight, the three Cleveland girls whose discovery yesterday has captured the nation.
Not much is known about the three suspects so far—several outlets have reported that the house where the girls were kept is under 52-year-old Ariel Castro’s name. His older brother, Pedro Castro, 54, and younger brother, Oneil Castro, 50, were arrested alongside Ariel on Tuesday.
The three victims had disappeared about a decade ago. Berry, then 16, was taken in April 2003; De Jesus disappeared a year later, when she was 14-years-old; while Knight, a 20-year-old back then, disappeared in 2002. The rescue on Monday also brought someone else—Berry’s 6-year-old daughter. Neighbors said they thought the house was empty, and that Ariel Castro lived somewhere else, although he dropped by to check on the house sometimes.
Ariel Castro: A ‘nice guy’ with a questionable history
Ariel Castro has been described as a “nice guy,” but this doesn’t seem to be the first time that he has had a brush with the law. According to USA Today:
“Records show that Castro was arrested for domestic violence in 1993, but that a grand jury declined to indict him. They also show that Castro, 52, owned the home at 2207 Seymour Ave. where the women were found—and that the house was in foreclosure because Castro owed thousands in real estate taxes.”
A former school bus driver, Castro was investigated by authorities in January 2004, after a complaint was made when he left a child in a school bus, though no charges were filed.