The Lookout

Castro had ropes, chains, padlocked doors inside house

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Lookout

Police search the Cleveland house where the three missing women were found. (David Maxwell)

The Cleveland home where three women were allegedly held captive for nearly a decade had ropes, chains and padlocked doors inside, police say.

"They were bound," Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath told NBC's "Today" show. McGrath said the women—Knight, now 32, Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23—were held with chains and ropes, and allowed outside only “once in a while." They were found at the home on Monday.

Photos obtained by London's Daily Mail from suspect Ariel Castro's son Anthony show padlocked doors leading to the basement, attic and garage. In one photo from 2001, Ariel Castro is seen standing in his kitchen in front of one of the padlocked doors. Knight went missing the year before.

Ariel Castro, 52, and brothers Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, were arrested on Monday, suspected of kidnapping the women and holding them captive inside the home. A 6-year-old girl believed to be Berry's daughter was also found there.

[Related: Son of suspect wrote article about missing woman in 2004]

"If it's true that he took [Berry] captive and forced her into having sex with him and having his child and keeping her hidden and keeping them from sunlight, he really took those girls' lives," Anthony Castro told the newspaper. "He doesn't deserve to have his own life anymore. He deserves to be behind bars for the rest of his life. I'm just thankful they're alive."

The son, who said he was not close to his father and that Ariel had abused his mother before the couple separated, recalled that "the house was always locked."

"There were places we could never go," he said. "There were locks on the basement. Locks on the attic. Locks on the garage."

[Also see: Neighbor who rescued kidnapped women speaks]

Charles Ramsey, the neighbor who helped free the women, said the front door appeared to have an elaborate lock on it, too.

"I'm trying to get the door open, I can't, because he torture-chambered it some kind of way and locked it up," Ramsey told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday. "So I did what I had to do and kicked the bottom of the door, and she crawled out of it."

Investigators removed the door on Tuesday along with other evidence from inside the house, and cadaver dogs were used to search for the remains of other potential victims.

View Comments (4060)