Few can fathom how the women could have been held for so long without anyone knowing. One theory is that Castro’s shabby home might have been in a kind of physical and virtual blind spot. The parking lot of a small business that has been downsizing lies behind his house. Three of four adjacent houses are vacant, says Brian Cummins, the City Council member who represents the area. There’s an extremely high turnover of rental properties, he says. The area is one of the poorest in the city, Cummins says, and has struggled to recover from the long economic tumble exemplified by the downturn in Cleveland’s steel industry.
Cummins says there are active neighborhood groups on many of the surrounding blocks. But Castro’s house sits in a stretch of homes with no such organizations.
(The Washington Post) - Abduction locations in Cleveland.
Ramsey, thrust into the spotlight after rescuing women held hostage, comes to D.C. for tour, talk show.
Time and again in the past year, the nation has been stopped in its tracks by a horrific crime.
Forensic scientists worked all night to confirm that Castro is the father of Amanda Berry’s daughter, 6.
Mistrust and suspicion of police and government are common, many residents say. “If the community had more communication with the police, we would have found them sooner,” said Juan Garcia, who lives down the block from DeJesus’s parents. “We are afraid of the police. They frighten us.”
Castro certainly gave the impression, at times, that he felt free to roam. Friends saw him taking Berry’s daughter — the child he fathered — to play at the park named for Roberto Clemente. Moises Cintron, who lives across the street from the park, would often see Castro walking affectionately with the little girl, holding her hand. He never asked about the girl; he was afraid he’d be labeled a gossip. The child was never told the names of the other women kept captive in the house, so she would not slip and mention them in public, her mother told police.
Amanda Berry thought Castro was testing her. It had to be that.
The door at the house on Seymour Avenue was left open when he left the house May 6, she later told police. Only a storm door separated her from the outside world.
She saw neighbors on their porches, sitting and chatting. She made what had to have been the most important decision of her young life: She started screaming, and a neighbor — Charles Ramsey — came to her rescue, smashing through the door to free her.
She called 911. “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry,’’ said this voice that had been absent for so long. “I need police. I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years, and I’m here. I’m free now.’’
Markon reported from Washington. Alice Crites and Kimberly Kindy contributed to this report from Washington.