By Samantha Arietta
Three women were held captive in Cleveland, Ohio for ten years. Michelle Knight claims that she miscarried at least five times while being held prisoner by suspect abductor Ariel Castro. Knight said that she was starved and brutally punched in her stomach by Castro in order to abort the baby.
Knight “stated that he starved her for at least 2 weeks, he then repeatedly punched her in the stomach until she miscarried,” the initial police report states. However, when a different woman in Castro’s house was pregnant, the situation was very different.
Amanda Berry went into labor and Castro forced Michelle Knight to deliver the child. In panic, she delivered the baby in what CNN reported as either a kiddie pool or bath tub. The child was not breathing and Castro threatened to kill Knight if the baby had died. Somehow, “this girl who knows nothing about childbirth was able to deliver a baby that is now a healthy 6-year-old” said a source.
Berry and Knight were abducted along with another woman, Gina DeJesus. The three victims were held in a 1,400 square foot house in an old neighborhood. Usually, they were either chained in the basement or all put in separate rooms. When possible, the victims would, “rely on each other for survival”. In the decade, Berry, Knight and DeJesus were only let outside the house twice. Castro would test the women by pretending to leave the house, one police officer said. Then Castro would quickly return, and if there was any indication that the captives had moved, they’d be punished.
Ariel Castro’s own family is among many trying to make sense of the horror. “I have a sick son who has done something serious,” his mother said to CNN reporters. “I’m suffering very much. I ask for forgiveness from those mothers; may those girls forgive me.” One of Castro’s daughters, Angie Gregg, told CNN that she “just wanted to die” upon hearing her father had been arrested. His other daughter, Arlene, was good friends with one of his victims, Gina DeJesus. “I’m really disappointed, embarrassed, mainly devastated,” Arlene Castro said. “… I would like to say that I’m absolutely so, so sorry.”
Castro was charged with four counts of kidnapping three women and the one child held in captivity. He was also charged with three counts of rape. In Ohio, being convicted of murder is so serious that it can lead to the death penalty.