Amanda Berry Kidnapping: 5 Things To Know About Her Disappearance At The Hands Of Ariel Castro
The reappearance of Berry, now 27, and the two other women, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 30, stunned officials. Missing since 2002 and 2003, the women had lived on the same block and were kidnapped in three separate incidents.
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Below, five key things to know about the bizarre Amanda Berry kidnapping.
Three brothers were arrested in connection with the kidnappings. Ariel Castro, 52, a school bus driver, lived in the house from which Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, and the 6-year-old girl escaped. Two of Castro's brothers, Pedro Castro, 54, and Oneal Castro, 50, were also arrested. They didn't live in the house.
In short, dramatically. On Monday, Berry managed to get to the house's front door, which she wasn't able to open, and shout for help. A neighbor, Charles Ramsey, heard Berry's cries and tried to open the door.
"I hear this girl screaming and she's going nuts," said Ramsey. "So I come outside and I know there's nobody supposed to be screaming next door to my house because there's no girl that lives in that house."
When the door wouldn't open, Ramsey kicked it in, allowing Berry and the 6-year-old to escape. Using another neighbor's phone, Berry called 911 (see the full transcript below).
That's the million dollar question. Cleveland's police chief said he thinks they were tied up in the house. Ramsey, the man who freed Berry, says the front door would only open enough to fit a hand through, so perhaps some anti-escape mechanisms were in place. And with the search for Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight being a cold case, it's not like the police were knocking down doors and actively looking for the women. In fact, when Berry went to call 911 on her neighbor's phone, the neighbor said to her, "You're not Amanda Berry. Amanda Berry is dead."
Juan Perez, Castro's neighbor, told the Today show that he didn't see much of Castro. "I thought the home was vacant," said Perez. "I thought he probably had another property and he would just come and check and see if everything is OK. I didn't even know anybody lived there."
Authorities are now saying they believe the girl is Amanda Berry's daughter, though they haven't yet said anything about the obvious question: who's the father?
Amanda: Help me, I'm Amanda Berry.
Operator: Do you need police fire or ambulance?
Amanda: I need police.
Operator: OK, what's going on there?
Amanda: I've been kidnapped and been missing for 10 years. I am here, I'm free now.
Operator: Ok, what's your address?
Amanda: 2207 Seymour Avenue.
Operator: 2207 Seymour. Looks like you are calling me from 2210.
Operator: It looks like you are calling me from 2210..
Amanda: I can't hear you.
Operator: It looks like you are calling me from 2210.
Amanda: I'm across the street, I'm using the phone.
Operator: OK, stay there with those neighbors and talk to the police when they get there.
Operator: Talk to the police when they get there.
Amanda: Ok, Hello.
Operator: Yes, talk to the police when they get there.
Amanda: Ok, I don't want to leave right now.
Operator: We will get someone there as soon as we get a car open.
Amanda: No, I need them now before he gets back.
Operator: Ok, We are sending them, ok?
Operator: Who is the guy that went out?
Amanda: His name is Ariel Castro.
Operator: How old is he?
Amanda: He's like 52, and I'm Amanda Berry, I've been on the news for the last 10 years.
Operator: Ok, I got that dear, and what is his name again?
Amanda: Ariel Castro.
Operator: What is he wearing?
Amanda: I don't know because he is not here right now.
Operator: When he left what was he wearing? The police are on the way talk to them when they get there. I told you they were on the way, talk to them when they get there.
Amanda: Ok, bye.
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