DNA test confirms Ariel Castro is father of child born in captivity

May 10, 2013

DNA test results released Friday confirmed that Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man accused of kidnapping and raping three women held for years in his rundown home, is the father of a 6-year-old girl born in captivity to one of his alleged victims, Ohio’s attorney general said.

After the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation received a sample of Castro’s DNA late Thursday, Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement that “forensic scientists worked throughout the night to confirm that Castro is the father” of the child, whose mother, Amanda Berry, was abducted as a teenager in 2003.

DeWine added that “Castro’s DNA did not match any other Ohio cases,” though he said the FBI is checking the sample to determine whether Castro is connected to cases in other states.

Separately, the FBI said Friday that an extensive search of the property where the three women and the child were held — dubbed Cleveland’s “house of horrors” — has not turned up any human remains. The bureau said it has concluded its search.

FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said investigators took more than 200 items from Castro’s house, but she declined to specify what was seized.

Ariel Castro, the man accused of kidnapping three women in Cleveland, is being held on suicide watch.

The longest-held captive, Michelle Knight, was discharged from a Cleveland hospital Friday. MetroHealth Medical Center declined to comment on her condition or say where she was going. But in a statement released earlier, the hospital said she was “in good spirits” and that she “asks that everyone please continue to respect her privacy at this time.”

Knight told police that Castro repeatedly raped her and that she suffered at least five miscarriages after he beat and starved her to terminate the pregnancies.

Those accusations prompted prosecutors to consider pursuing capital murder charges, as well as counts for kidnapping and rape, against Castro, 52, who was arrested after his alleged victims were rescued Monday night.

Castro is charged with kidnapping Gina DeJesus, as well as Berry, Knight and Berry’s daughter. Law enforcement authorities say he lured each woman into his car along a main thoroughfare — Knight in 2002, at age 21; Berry in 2003, a day before she turned 17; and DeJesus in 2004, at 13 — then held them prisoner for years.

Castro’s daughter Angie Gregg said in an interview with CNN that the accounts of their captivity were “like a horror movie.”

She said she had not noticed anything suspicious in her visits to his house, though he played loud music, kept the basement locked and would not allow her upstairs.

Now, her father is “dead to me,” she said. “He’s nothing but a memory anymore.”


Map locates where the women went missing in relation to where they were rescued.

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