Report: Ohio kidnapper called victim's mother during captivity

Report: Ohio kidnapper called victim's mother during captivity

Credit: Getty Images

Ariel Castro (L) talks with his lawyer during a break in his trial on August 1, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Castro was sentenced to life without parole plus one thousand years for abducting three women between 2002 and 2004 when they were between 14 and 21 years old.

Print
Email
|

by ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS / AP Legal Affairs Writer

KING5.com

Posted on September 6, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 6 at 7:51 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio  -- Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro said he called the mother of one of his captives and told the woman her daughter was alive and had become his wife, according to interrogation videotapes.

Castro also told investigators that authorities missed opportunities to catch him while he held the three women captive for about a decade in a run-down house where they were repeatedly beaten and raped.

Castro says in the video -- obtained by NBC and first reported Friday on the "Today" show -- that he told Amanda Berry's mother that her daughter was OK. He says he made the call on Amanda Berry's cellphone.

"I think I said something ... that I have her daughter and that she's OK, and that she's my wife now -- something like that, you know, probably not the exact words," he told investigators.

When asked for the mother's response, Castro said: "I hung up so we didn't have a conversation."

Castro, 53, was a month into his life sentence when he hanged himself in his prison cell Tuesday night. His family collected his body from the Franklin County Coroner's office Friday.

In the taped interrogation, Castro also told investigators that authorities missed opportunities to catch him while he held the kidnapped women, who were ages 14, 16 and 20 when captured.

Castro said cameras at the school of victim Gina DeJesus should have captured him there 15 minutes before she was abducted.

"You could have broke the case right then and there," he said.

Castro said a girlfriend once noticed a TV on in a room occupied by victim Michelle Knight and that got him worrying that he might be caught.

"Was it a close call?" an investigator said.

"Yeah," he said.

Representatives of the victims did not respond to messages seeking comment Friday morning.

The "Today" show report also provides additional details about a 2004 note Castro wrote that investigators found when they searched the house. "I want to put an end to my life and let the devil deal with me," a section of the note read.

The state is conducting two reviews related to Castro, Ohio prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said. One looks into the suicide, and the other examines whether Castro received proper medical and mental health care leading up the suicide.

Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping and rape, in a deal to avoid the death penalty. "I'm not a monster. I'm sick," he told the judge at sentencing.

Castro's captives disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004. They were rescued from Castro's house May 6 when Berry broke through a screen door.

Investigators said the women were bound, repeatedly raped and deprived of food and bathroom facilities.

 

Print
Email
|