News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

News

May 6, 2013

Afternoon update: 'Nightmare is over': 3 missing Ohio women rescued

CLEVELAND — One neighbor says a naked woman was seen crawling on her hands and knees in the backyard of the house a few years ago. Another neighbor says he heard pounding on the doors and noticed plastic bags over the windows.

Police showed up at the house both times, the neighbors say, but never went inside.

Now, after three women who vanished separately about a decade ago were rescued from the peeling, rundown house Monday in a discovery that exhilarated and astonished the city, Cleveland police are facing questions about their handling of the case and are conducting an internal review to see if they overlooked anything.

Police Chief Michael McGrath said Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight had apparently been held captive in the house since their teens or early 20s.

Authorities arrested three brothers, ages 50 to 54. One of them, former school bus driver Ariel Castro, owned the home, situated in a poor neighborhood dotted with boarded-up houses. No immediate charges were filed.

The break in the case came when the 27-year-old Berry kicked out the bottom of a locked screen door at the home and used a neighbor's telephone to call 911. Choking back tears, she breathlessly told the dispatcher: "Help me. I'm Amanda Berry. I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm, I'm here, I'm free now."

Police arrived to find the two other women, along with a 6-year-old girl who authorities said was believed to Berry's daughter. Police would not say who the father was or where the child was born.

"Prayers have finally been answered. The nightmare is over," said Stephen Anthony, head of the FBI in Cleveland. "These three young ladies have provided us with the ultimate definition of survival and perseverance. The healing can now begin."

He added: "Words can't describe the emotions being felt by all. Yes, law enforcement professionals do cry."

Authorities would not say how the women were taken captive, whether they were restrained inside the house or if they had been sexually assaulted. Police said they were trying to be delicate in their questioning of the women, given their ordeal.

Cleveland police came under heavy criticism in a separate case a few years ago following the discovery of 11 bodies in a man's home and backyard in another poor section of the city. Neighbors had long complained about foul odors, and the victims' families charged that police didn't take the reports of missing women seriously.

As for whether police this time overlooked hints about the women's fate, city Safety Director Martin Flask said Tuesday morning: "At this point, I can confirm that we have no indications that any of the neighbors, bystanders, witnesses or anyone else has ever called regarding any information, regarding activity that occurred at that house."

However, he said authorities were still checking all databases of calls to police, fire and emergency services.

Two neighbors said Tuesday that they were alarmed enough by what they saw at the house to call police on two occasions.

Elsie Cintron, who lives three houses away, said her daughter once saw a naked woman crawling on her hands and knees in the backyard several years ago and called police. "But they didn't take it seriously," she said.

Another neighbor, Israel Lugo, said he heard pounding on some of the doors of Castro's house, which had plastic bags on the windows, in November 2011. Lugo said officers knocked on the front door, but no one answered. "They walked to side of the house and then left," he said.

Neighbors also said they would see Castro sometimes walking a little girl to a neighborhood playground. And Cintron said she once saw a little girl looking out of the attic window of the house.

In the murder case from four years ago, the homeowner was eventually sentenced to death. In the wake of public outrage over the killings, a panel formed by the mayor recommended an overhaul of the city's handling of missing-person and sex crime investigations.

The three rescued women appeared to be in good health and were briefly evaluated at a hospital and reunited with relatives. A photo released by Berry's family showed her smiling with an arm around her sister. Police said they were taken to an undisclosed location in the suburbs.

A sign outside the home of DeJesus' parents read "Welcome Home Gina."

Her aunt Sandra Ruiz told reporters that she was able to see all three. She asked that the family be given space.

"Those girls, those women are so strong," she said. "What we've done in 10 years is nothing compared to what those women have done in 10 years to survive."

Investigators celebrated the news almost as much as the families.

The disappearances of Berry and DeJesus never left the minds of police. Investigators twice dug up backyards looking for Berry and continued to receive tips about the two every few months, even in recent years. But few leads ever came in about Knight, who was the first of the three to disappear, in 2002.

Police said Knight disappeared at age 20 and is 32 now. Berry vanished at age 16 on April 21, 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King. About a year later, DeJesus was last seen at age 14 on her way home from school. They were found just a few miles from where they disappeared.

Police identified the three suspects as Ariel Castro, 52; Pedro Castro, 54; and Onil Castro, 50. Attempts to reach Ariel Castro in jail were unsuccessful.

Police did go to the house twice in the past 15 years, but not in connection with the women's disappearance, officials said.

In 2000, before the women vanished, Ariel Castro reported a fight in the street, but no arrests were made, Flask said.

In 2004, officers went to the home after child welfare officials alerted them that Ariel Castro, a school bus driver, had apparently left a child unattended on a bus, Flask said. No one answered the door, according to Flask. At some point in the investigation, police talked to Castro and determined there was no criminal intent, he said.

The women's loved ones said they hadn't given up hope of seeing them again.

Berry's cousin Tasheena Mitchell told The Plain Dealer newspaper: "I'm going to hold her, and I'm going to squeeze her and I probably won't let her go."

Berry's mother, Louwana Miller, who had been hospitalized for months with pancreatitis and other ailments, died in 2006. She had spent the previous three years looking for her daughter, whose disappearance took a toll as her health steadily deteriorated, family and friends said.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • MET 073114 FAIR 02HEALTH.jpg Tracking a herd

    When a pig named Bruce stumbled as it was unloaded off a trailer and into the swine barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Thursday morning, Clint Shireman took notice.

    August 1, 2014 3 Photos

  • Mobs, toting cash, seek to enliven area shops

    The mob dropped like a tornado on the small northern Indiana town of North Manchester. They rushed into a small specialty shop, changing its future.

    August 1, 2014

  • SPT080114CASY hlleck.jpg CASY set to take over Bikes for Tykes

    Chances and Services for Youth, a not-for-profit group dedicated to helping kids, is taking over the Bikes for Tykes program from the Exchange Club of Terre Haute.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • MET080114barrett mckee.jpg Barrett named assistant ISU police chief

    Chief lauds Barrett’s experience in juvenile, violent, white-color crime investigations
    Tribune-Star staff report

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT080114CASY decker.jpg City’s Exchange Club calls it quits

    After more than nine decades, the Exchange Club of Terre Haute has called it quits.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • MET073114griffin markers.jpg Trail blazers

    Blake Griffin remembers when he and his brother, Dale, would ride their bikes along wooded trails in the wilderness area of Fowler Park.

    July 31, 2014 7 Photos

  • Officials say city ‘overspent’

    Two Terre Haute councilmen told the Taxpayers Association of Vigo County Thursday they think the city is overspending, but they gave no solutions to reduce expenses.

    July 31, 2014

  • MET073114sinkhole korenski.jpg Block downtown to close for repairs

    A sinkhole is forcing the temporary closure of a major downtown street beginning Monday.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 012312 MICK NEWPORT.jpg Wave of retirees at Vigo schools

    Valarie Bailey has worked for the Vigo County School Corp. for 26 years in roles that included at-risk counselor, school social worker, assistant student services director and curriculum coordinator.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire house to fire dept.

    A legal battle has been resolved to restore ownership of the community fire station in Fayette Township.

    July 31, 2014

  • Road Closings

    14th Street, from Oak to Poplar streets, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 9 for Friends and Family Weekend.

    July 31, 2014

  • August Fire Safety Tip

    Monthly safety hint — Barbeque/grilling safety

    July 31, 2014

  • Difference makers, a nickel at a time

    Joining a youth sports team, getting a new pair of shoes or taking music lessons are among the things that will be happening for more Vigo County children in the CASA Kids program thanks to a new financial supporter.

    July 31, 2014

  • MET 073014 WESTMINISTER DIG.jpg Expanding independence

    Westminster Village, a Terre Haute retirement community, is investing $1.8 million to construct 12 new villa homes, officials announced Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 5 Photos

  • Decades later, dry cleaners leave blemish

    Fifty years ago, about 30 dry cleaners did business in the city of Terre Haute. City officials are now cleaning up the mess some left behind.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MARK BENNETT: Year of River sets example for state

    Terre Haute pays more attention to the Wabash River these days.

    July 30, 2014

  • Climate of less regulation, more chemical spills leaves ‘historical pollution,’ NCA director says

    Former dry cleaning sites are an environmental problem all over the state, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MET073014parks bbushee.jpg Camping turnout low for first half of summer

    Camping revenue for the past two months has dropped in Vigo County parks, a downturn park officials say is difficult to attribute to a new park policy limiting campers’ stays to 14 days in the three county parks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 073014 DESTROYED.jpg Devastating fire takes out mobile home

    A Seelyville mobile home sustained heavy damage in a fire early Wednesday morning.
    Lost Creek Township firefighters were called to the scene in the 2200 block of Tabortown Road south of U.S. 40 at about 2 a.m.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Man posts bond after fatal wreck

    An Oct. 7 trial date has been set for a Terre Haute man accused of driving while intoxicated causing death.

    July 30, 2014 3 Stories

  • Driver injured, airlifted, cited for failure to yield

    An elderly woman was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Sullivan County, according to Indiana State Police.

    July 30, 2014

  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct Hispanic Caucus Slams GOP for Border Bill Shifts Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News