Transcript for Digital Report: Cleveland Officials Update Public on Found Cleveland Girls
Special report from ABC news. I'm -- -- -- -- -- with an ABC news -- special report on an unbelievable case near Cleveland Ohio three missing women held hostage. In a home for ten years. Finally managed to escape yesterday the whole time all these years neighbors had no clue about the dark secret. That was lurking in that home. In their neighborhood that is until yesterday. When they heard one of the women screaming for help. And saw her trying to get out now the mayor the police chief and a special agent in charge of this case is holding a news conference in Ohio let's listen in. Amanda buried in -- -- cases. And Michelle night. We ask that you understand that. Some questions we can answer some questions we can't answer -- -- respect sort of family. Be mindful that this is an ongoing investigation. And due to the sensitive nature of the investigation against some questions cannot be answered. I it is CU mayor -- city of Cleveland. Frank G Jackson. Now this morning we're happy. Who knows whereas you know that -- very. Jeanne he's -- in mission donated have been found in our lives. We're happy. That they have returned -- us. But their absence for several years is played their families our community clean police and our law enforcement partners for years. We have several unanswered questions. Why would it take and how would be taken and how they remain undetected in the city of Cleveland for -- -- tan. Today we have three suspects in custody. Over two years to clean police. That worked closely with the northern Ohio violent fugitive task force -- about -- Cleveland office of the FBI. And own investigation -- -- that he sues an amendment theory. We have with us today special agent in charge Steve -- you'll be talking later. We have also asserts there have been searching -- Rick is for public safety calls him. Force Thursday at twenty -- seventh -- more. As well is complaints regarding the house. All of the occupants of that house. Since last night we have Lauren to -- Field in the housing does not have any records of permits or violations at an entrance. Our records show that -- fire department. And our emergency medical users -- not being called to that address. It is tan or -- show to -- police have responded twice. -- -- -- Andrus once in 2000. And another tan in 2000. And war and -- list wolf from that some details regards today. Now as we move forward we will provide updates as they come available keep -- in man as was stated. That this is an open investigation. Again we -- thankful that miss Berry misty -- who's been missing night. They have been found and that their lives and it we have. -- -- couldn't. A support to the families and two to three ladies as -- -- down the road to recovery. Not to do want to say again that this was a traumatic experience for them. Less. Since we did not experience it as a community. But for them is a dramatic experience that we need to give them wrong in this. So I'll introduce you safety director. Good morning. Last night as part at 6 PM Cleveland please communications and it received two calls. One from a neighbor. To the house sentencing morality in the second call from -- -- -- one of the missing women. In the incident was created -- communications center 552 in 33 seconds. -- police car was dispatched at 552 and 49 seconds. The first police responders arrived on the scene just under two minutes later at 554 and seven seconds. -- by 558. The responding officers haven't identified. Unity -- and -- areas having them located at the home. One minute later they announced that the and it also recovered safely Michelle night. All three missing women -- a six year old child belonged to one of the missing woman was conveyed to metro health medical center. Where they're being treated further and providing care. -- after learning aliens and we began an immediate search. Of our databases and determine what information that we had regarding this specific -- -- we have no as to -- articulated. We went back looked at all emergency medical calls for service and our fire responses to net residency -- -- since 2006. As far -- -- database exists. We found that there were no calls for service. Begin -- building and housing you -- to see whether not a building code violations -- complaints. Made against grows and there were no complaints or violations -- five. Also on speculative police calls for service. We do learn -- and check in march of 2000. -- Castro -- in the business and policy currently. Reported to police that it was a flight in the street there's no record in the -- having been made as a result police response. And in. January 2004. As a result an investigation that was initiated by actual film -- service's Cleveland police went solo -- -- an indoor world unsuccessful. And connects with making anybody any contact with anyone and sent him home. That incident appears to have been in. Related to his employment mr. Castro's appointment as a school bus driver. He either intentionally or inadvertently. Left the child close when he returned people. As a result that it ignored tension that financial services committee -- -- -- Investigation was conducted by the Cleveland division of please -- -- there was no criminal intent on mr. Castro's action. Again we went we're gonna continue to look at all the data -- is not only from. Calls being made from there at risk were about the -- that any calls that have been meters could have been made by senior residents. Fledging league collective -- inappropriate activity within their home at this point I can confirm. That we have no indications -- news neighbors. Bystanders witnesses or anyone else has ever called regarding any information regarding activities that occurred at -- house and Seymour -- I'll turn this over the chief of police Michael McGrath who provides -- information. Thanks Richard. Good morning everyone. Last night the city of Cleveland and northeast Ohio received a tremendous news the rescue -- was show that I. The -- very -- space suits. There's a law enforcement. Person. And annoy everybody was in the divisional police and all my law enforcement partners feel the same. I was overseeing the disappearance of -- Johnson -- them blow to thousands. -- a -- year old female -- disappeared. And three weeks later we funded by the tragically. So to find these three girls recovered well. It is really it's just makes it police department it just gives us a boost it really really goes. -- We've been missing since April -- first 2003. Was it verified. West evening after fleeing from her captors home and amazingly. Judith -- -- commission on the -- we're in the same house alive and well with a small child. All the -- women all the young ladies have been missing about a decade. To -- -- was last seen on April 2 2004. Michelle -- -- have been missing since August 22. 2000 -- The Cleveland division of police and our law enforcement partners which includes the FBI. Schuyler county sheriff's office US marshal's office. Remain committed to these investigations over -- years. Through our involvement with the northern Ohio violent fugitive task force. Led by the Cleveland office of the FBI FBI. We have continued to investigate any and all leads in these cases. -- -- came in over the years there were investigated timing again. Possible suspects were interviewed. Search warrants were persecuted. -- and I mean faithfully due to Amanda's brave actions. These three women are alive today. Three men have been arrested in this case and they are material Castro. 52 years old. Brother Pedro. 54 years old. And another brother O'Neal fifty years old. The regional task force will not continue to follow up investigation relative to recovery. Of and processing of the scene. Interviewing in the investigation. Next steps. There's ten years -- logistical information -- be sorted through. Numerous interviews have to be completed. The FB evidence recovery team is processing the scene. -- were canceled 5 -- of this morning. We will regroup later this morning and I anticipate it will take a few days. To completely. Process the scene there Seymour. Most importantly go to victims physical. Emotional well being of the main concern and have to be addressed. The FBI is providing assistance. And special agent Steve Anthony. Who will provide additional information. Wrote -- through the debriefing. For the victims mystery to me. Chief. Who -- one. She said I -- Steve -- especially in charge of the Cleveland office the FBI. Four Amanda's family for -- is failing former shells family prayers have finally been answered the nightmare. Is over. These three young ladies have provided us with the ultimate definition. Of survival compressor appearance. The healing can now begin. Every evening year after year as you well know -- members and law enforcement kept the faith that one day. They might see their daughters. Or sisters. In their nieces again. Monday evening that happened. FBI's violent crime task -- -- the chief from the mayor mentioned the particulars of men and women of the Cleveland police department have pursued every tip. And have stood with the families each step of the way. In the families of these three young ladies never gave up hope and neither -- law enforcement. As you can imagine. Words can't describe the emotions been felt by all. Yes law enforcement professionals to cry. We rejoice with those families -- the homecoming of Amanda -- -- -- where I'm sure they'll be showered with much love in many many hugs. But has been said while we celebrate today. We and our law enforcement partners continue to work -- shore with the Cleveland Police Department to answer the many questions the many questions. But investigators have. And rest assured the FBI will bring every resource to bear to assist our partners in this case. To bring the full weight of justice behind those responsible. For this horrific horrific case. And has been set -- -- the public and you'll have many questions. And so do we. -- and tell we have the answers to those questions. Based on facts and evidence. We won't be able to speculate. As to how. And why. This want to reiterate in this case as -- others all of us stand up here rely in the public's assistance. To resolve these horrific cases. If you have any information. Please contact Cleveland's division -- the FBI at 216. 5221400. That is again 2165221400. It can't be emphasize enough this is an ongoing investigation. In the coming days and weeks. Investigators will be putting countless hours. To track the events the last several years. As a chief mention the via. The -- of course -- Gina Amanda Michelle. Much of the effort that we have in order be doing over the next several days is going to be focusing in on them. How could we and law enforcement. Help speed the healing and the recovery process. And treat them with dignity and the respect that they deserve. And we're going to be providing not just via the three but their families. Again with comfort. With advice with information. In the coming days to again help in that process. And part of that. We have a special team of child forensic examiners. That will be arriving. This morning. To help -- that process. In addition to numerous victim witness specialist -- of those have been sent. Two events such as in Boston. Thank you very much about -- makeovers in. -- -- At this time. We'll take few questions however prior to like to reiterate that this is an open and ongoing investigation. And we want to be sensitive to is not on the investigation but the family members and the victims. And I assets when you -- your question you identify yourself and identify the media outlet that your list. Right now it's not but. We are aware of any -- people -- national implications that's why were working so closely with the FBI we actually free flashlight. On the investigative end of it and we reminded the investigators not. Forget about that that it possibly could be. Something that is outside Cleveland as of right now we have no indication that -- bigger than our neighborhood here. You don't -- that that you know that hasn't been determined -- -- have to tell you that we are very very. Careful with the interview process last night so that's going to be an ongoing process -- -- when we have our expert come and from the FBI there and do a little more in depth interviews and I'm -- over the as time goes by they'll be more information. That will be provided. From -- young -- just as as to exactly what took place. Yeah. Yeah army yeah. Well though one brother was and it was -- report that the director mentioned before about inadvertently. Leaving young man upon -- the investigation one's conducted. And there was no criminal evidence -- -- You name it now very tough. Plus -- Quite an extensive -- Yeah. No number one he was. Interviewed extensively. Relative to this complaint that we he was not a suspect in any other complaint this was the he was a bus driver. Who inadvertently so he says left the kid on a bus went in for a lunch break came back and then found the young man number two. -- -- our policies are. Solid our policies have been revamped over the last few years we're constantly looking at those policies in a way to improve them. Number three I can tell you as being part of this division for the last 28 years and being very very involved. In this over the last ten years that. The -- of effort the amount of -- the amount of work hours and dedication that went into this I've never seen it before over the last ten years every single lead was followed up. No matter how small as a lot of you know -- room. We dug up a couple backyards we -- campus neighborhoods. We had vigils we've participated in national missing children's day along with the FBI. -- -- our goal was to get them back safely the real hero here is Amanda. I mean. She is a real hero I mean she's the one that got this -- and you know we're just we're we're we're following her leave without her none of us would be here today. Seat continental and. Their dad is armed. There are other properties that -- -- and yes that is true we focused on the house and Seymour last night until the early hours of the morning we're gonna go back. I have not entered -- house that is is an active crime scene. And the only people that entered that house or the evidence recovery team. By the FBI -- before any of that evidence -- process we haven't seen photos. We haven't discussed anything with them that's their protocols that that's their crime -- they are gonna handle it. We're gonna -- yeah. -- There yes yes there was. Yet a child in the house is that which are asking about the younger yes we believe that -- is Amanda's daughter. Yes. Yes yeah. So we were. When he answered editor I mean. Yeah that that rats aren't going to wait we have to do some. Well I really. I can't get into that because that is you know they're gonna have to tell us that obviously. There was a long period of time where nobody song shall. What we have to wait until. We interview them and now hopefully they're done what they're gonna tell us exactly what went on in there they were the only ones there along with the suspects -- -- that's a very difficult question answer. Yeah. -- -- -- Yes no we we spoke with her last night. I can tell -- little investigative update. Is we canvassed. Numerous parts of the lower west side of the city. -- out on a couple streets we've gotten a hold of all the family members and we've interviewed all of them what those discussions were. Com I'm not at liberty to. Release that right now we are gonna have an investigative briefing internally. Later today to find out some of the results but yet we have talked to all family. Friends and we're gonna continue to do that. You know bill we don't. Amanda's Nikita that like I said. You can only imagine the scene last night at the hospital. With the family and the friends it was just. It was chaotic and we really didn't. Divulge -- and we didn't get into. The deep deep line of questioning. Are concerned. Our first and foremost concerned when actually it was a physical and mental well being sold. That that is gonna come out but as of today I couldn't. No no I don't -- I know is you know Amanda broke off the bottom of the sorting -- out so obviously was secured but exactly how Wallace. -- Marty flask public safety. We've -- look at all the calls for service we also checked this morning with a colony partners for the wireless system. We do not have any indications -- all that any incoming calls for service allegations tips. Or other information was received from any other source or any other neighbors I can confirm -- cover we will continue. -- to look check caller -- bases databases it is to confirm that as we move forward. But our initial review indicates clearly that nothing was provided to the city Cleveland. For -- the neighbors the live and on that street or anywhere else regarding the activities that that'll. -- I get to area. From what I saw the physical condition. I'm not a medical person and I know -- brief last night. But -- you know they seem to be in fairly good health I mean look at -- there's no outward signs a you -- needed. A good a good meal but that's something that -- have to refer -- to natural -- fires that are you know -- medical condition. And what was the second part show. Well I mean her story is she hasn't you know been seen in. Over over eleven years and that that story's gonna come out she's. You know she spoke with us a little bit last night but you know not in -- -- respect for her you know what these -- What these young girls went through and if you -- -- -- last night. You have nothing but. Compassion and you don't love in your -- form. Seoul. As far as investigations and we believe we've got three suspects were gonna charge -- suspects we believe we have the people responsible for that. So right now. You know we wanted to let them spend some time with their family and take this process very very spiritual. And respectful. To their families into the young girls needs. Well that'll that'll be that'll be something that is up to the prosecutor what we do our policy here NC Cleveland. As we gather the facts we are mandated to charge within 36 hours of an arrest which we will. We are mandated. C a prosecutor. To review the facts -- -- -- -- the prosecutor to charge and then I would anticipate that this case. Be heard by Cuyahoga County grand jury when knows charges come -- -- the grand -- -- exactly. What's going out. Well we're right now what we have and interviewed him. So weak and like I said like I keep referring back to the you know two -- three young ladies. They're the ones that are you know leaders on this. You know down that path -- -- exactly what happened and how they ended up with these guys and -- -- and that -- that house. But he is the three are under arrest are going to be afforded there. Constitutional rights but we are gonna attempt to talk to them. -- actual demand as the -- she came out of that house and that started at all. Can can you repeat that question what. Yes. We working them as abductions. And we are receiving tips and leads consistently. Mean some periods -- more than others. The route this 1012 year period. -- regarding Gina and Amanda so you don't like. It can't quantify exactly. We can get -- for -- and maybe -- the latest series of tips but we review them regularly with a sampling. And with our partners and Cleveland police. And as the chief and -- -- Tomlin mentioned dumb we don't look to locations believing that we had evidence based on information developed. That that they were in a particular location so. Home any investigation like this is gonna have been slow this farce -- leads are getting any given time but not a year went by and I actually -- the -- -- three month period went by. That we didn't have some lead generated by the public for multifamily. -- Absolutely none of those tips. Literally don't achieve -- on the wondered. It is excuse. Yes the ones driver's license was that actress and Seymour -- we assume that. There. Aerial. The other two had different addresses on the lower west side. Now we -- we don't have any evidence of that. That that's -- it was put like I said that's you know that's up to the girls to tell us we still. We still don't know -- army that is the that is one of the great unknowns right now -- We don't we we anticipate getting information from the -- not from the suspect's. Well I I I can't tell you the the exact date but Michelle is a young lady that was reed -- -- and over eleven years ago and you know she was the focus of very few tips and leads that we got most of the media. And most of the the community awareness was for the young ladies she was twenty years old when she left but most of that was was geared toward. The two young the two young girls sports. I'll try and provide a little additional information and -- all night. She was last seen August 22 of 2002. She was -- pointing at the time of her disappearance and she's now average 32. Her last -- here in the city Cleveland it was a Walton avenue the last time she was seen in 2002 -- -- west models six the Lorain avenue. A missing person report was made -- following -- founding member. -- So she's been missing Duncan's consistently and consecutively since 2002. We don't -- take. To our questions and -- -- it up. That's that's still a matter -- investigation. Some under investigation. The they came -- actually came out of the house wants to police. Approached and got into the got into the residence but Amanda was -- one that came out onto the street. Amanda was one that generated the 9/11 call. Zone car responded along with a couple detectives and they came out of the house they they didn't have to go in the house -- conform to its. Now they came out of the house -- -- wrong yet. Now -- have it the the -- you know what's a crime scene it's going to be it's going to be process but she came out of the lower power of the front door. It's a screen door. -- -- a lower part of it and that's what she broke out and -- Store. Yes there and I. -- -- Lifelong city resident myself. And -- just. Reiterates what you know from City Hall on down through the division of police that it's a partnership between the community. And and law enforcement. On during the course of this investigation we're gonna we're gonna look and we're gonna see if if there was that something may be the community did mr. there was something. You know what's going to be part of an ongoing review and an educational process but. It's it's quite a challenge you know we balance that. Right for everybody's privacy so what law enforcement still and so you know bill I don't have any you -- -- don't have. A pat answer for that but I just know that -- You know I know I can -- -- my law enforcement partners and friends. And we need to count on our community I mean that social important legacy that you know we can't stress that enough and that. You know that comes all the way down you know from -- -- -- to our chief about how important members of our communities. We -- -- close out with the chief of police Mike McGrath sent a couple words I just want to remind you that the division. And FBI will. Make up days either via press release. Or press conference since dependent upon the information. -- -- Fixing a forceful thanks -- here and most important and I stress it. In my few comments. Are the victims. The sensitivity to the victims their emotional well being -- that's where we're going address first. After we get that stabilized it will move forward to DV debriefing process. -- we need your cooperation. -- your questions with some of the questions. May impact their emotions. To -- their their their state of mind currently right now so you're gonna have to be patient with us as we proceed over the next couple days. Next couple weeks possibly a -- with this investigation thank you. We've been listening to a news conference at -- -- Ohio on a story that is simply. Unbelievable almost unimaginable. Three women -- -- -- vary -- dejesus and Michelle night had been missing in separate cases for at least ten years and last night. A break by a man that -- and breaking out of that home where all three of those women were being held. She ran across the street she was able to. Get out from one of the neighbors in this Cleveland neighborhood to break out of the door that had been locked where they had been held. She called police and as you can hear from police right now they are. Speaking with all three of these women define -- exactly. What has happened over the past ten years how they were taken what has happened to them. And as we've been hearing from police -- -- three suspects now in custody. -- -- that address on Seymour avenue in Cleveland police responded twice to that address once. For this one of the suspects aerials Castro he made a call for a fight in -- street. No charges have been filed from that call and a second time in 2004 we heard some of the reporters asking -- more specifically about this. Police have responded there after a report -- Castro is a school bus driver and there had been reports that there had been a child left on his bus on his watch. Authorities responded to that address -- trying to get information on when it happened they were called there. There was no criminal intent that's what police are -- and no charges were filed in that case authorities though are say that they did interview him extensively. And that they believe that in fact when he did leave that child on the bus that it was inadvertent it was not a criminal intent. ABC's out -- is joining us now live from the scene in Cleveland with more. And -- I can imagine so many police officers they're not going through trying to gather information from this unbelievable case. Well that's right it has been an unbelievable case unfolding here on this neighborhood in this neighborhood here in Cleveland officers and investigators have been here through the night collecting evidence. You know I've talked to many residents that live on this block and also the same thing they really can't believe this confident right here right in front of them and they had no idea that this may have been going on for possibly. Ten years one neighbor tells me she also heard amend scratching and screaming at the door and she came over and also help. To get her out -- now we are learning new information just a short time ago from. Authorities they confirm that they have arrested 52 year old aerial Castro and his two Brothers Pedro and O'Neal. In connection with this case now. Authorities also just revealed that they had actually been here -- this house back in 2004 on an unrelated charge -- a separate case. That's when aerial Castro worked as a school bus driver and he apparently at the time forgot the student. Inside one of the buses to authorities were called to his home. Here to investigate that case but that case did not result in any charges and at the time when investigators were here they say. They did not see anything suspicious there was no one in the neighborhood who pointed out something to them that. They should be aware of and that was the last concrete interaction authorities say they had with the aerial Castro. Until now but as you can imagine this neighborhood. Really shaken up its bittersweet. People are beyond. Happy and grateful that. These three young ladies are alive and well but they just cannot believe that this -- -- right here right underneath their noses and we do have. More good news -- from the hospital authorities there tell us that all three. Young lady's hand and six year old child. Little girl was also found inside home. Have been released but not from the hospital of course they were taken -- -- authorities. Got them from here to be checked out by medical professionals then and we've been seen some pictures of us. Miles on their faces that they've -- where they were in the hospital there and you can't even imagine what's going on through their minds after going through this kind of a nightmare for ten years and finally. Getting the help in getting the relief. After all that time. That good. Out so I -- -- a little bit more about the about the details about the neighborhood there because this does not appear to be any kind of -- remote location mean these houses seem to be relatively close together. They don't seem to be big expensive houses and you've just got to be mine bought the -- for investigators but for neighbors that have been living next door. That they've never heard anything over the past ten years they've never seen anything -- usual. Did they have -- even speaking with have -- -- anything out of the ordinary about the suspect aerial Castro. But you know that -- -- here again we got here late last night and we've been talking to people who live on this blocks for hours now. And everyone says the same thing they had no idea that this was happening right there in that home. Right underneath their news it's now. The one thing that people. Tend to point out the people that we talked to say is the one -- -- -- -- -- today aerial Castro was a very good neighbor he would come out he would say hello. -- often times had a four Wheeler that they say he would ride up and down the block sometimes giving the kids on the block a ride and it's so. Everyone we talked to says something like this they would have never suspected because. Aerial always resist such a good neighbor to them the one thing that they did say seem. Odd people who live on this block is that when he was not. Outside on that four Wheeler outside talking to someone. He was always very private inside the home they never knew what was happening in -- they never heard anybody. In -- they never saw other people lie especially not these three young ladies come in and out of that home home in the house so. They're still trying to figure this out how we can -- and right here without them knowing and -- very briefly before we lose the satellite signals of the condition of those three women what do we know about them right now. Well right now you know we're still waiting to hear exact details from authorities but we do you know they have been released from the hospital which means. They are at least in good enough physical condition to do that but authorities say they are working of course with the grief counselors and and and people who are specializing in trying to help them cope with what they've been through it's been a long ten years for them. And authorities say they are the heroes and all of this and they need the attention right now so that for the focuses aren't out thank you ABC's -- -- on the ground in Cleveland Ohio there on -- develop. And story less than 2.4 hours old where three women have been held. For more than a decade Amanda Berry Gina dejesus and Michelle night last night break in all three of those separate cases. When Amanda -- was trying to escape from that house that you see in Cleveland a neighbor heard her cries. Went over and helped to break through the door that's when she ran across the street grabbed the phone. And called police and made a call saying that I am -- man -- -- and as we've been hearing so many people in the neighborhood there couldn't even believe that she was saying that because the case had been. So long more than ten years she had been missing. Police have been following up on. A lot of missing persons reports they have followed up on a lot of site investigations but no concrete leads and now these three women who had been missing. Are now safe they have been released from the hospital and as we heard from an earlier news conference in the morning. The FBI and the police are now interviewing these women they're trying to find out exactly how this happened and exactly what has happened in the past ten years and -- pallets -- pointed out a six year old. Also found. In that home police are saying that that is the child. Of Amanda -- certainly a lot of relief for the families that have been holding out hope for all of this time and an investigation will continue on. Coming from this miracle nothing short of in Cleveland Ohio we're gonna have a complete recap throughout the day and as the investigation continues on abcnews.com. For now. I'm Dan -- in New York with this ABC news digital special report. This has been a special report from ABC news did --
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