Ohio officials: Ariel Castro fathered baby born in captivity
Ariel Castro, accused of kidnapping and raping three women held captive for years in his Cleveland house, is the father of the child born in captivity to one of the victims, officials said Friday morning.
State officials received a DNA sample from Castro on Thursday afternoon and worked to complete the tests, Ohio Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine announced.
“Forensic scientists worked throughout the night to confirm that Castro is the father of the six-year-old girl born in captivity to one of the kidnapping victims,” the office said in a statement posted on its website.
The child, born in the house at 2207 Seymour Ave. in Cleveland, is the daughter of Amanda Berry, one of the three women Castro is accused of kidnapping and holding for about a decade. Police previously identified the child as Berry’s daughter but said they would wait for the DNA test results before naming the father.
Castro was arrested Monday and is accused of kidnapping and abusing three women — Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight — at his house. Berry led an escape by breaking through a screen door on Monday and, with the help of neighbors, contacting police.
Now 27, Berry was just shy of her 17th birthday when she vanished in 2003. Knight, 32, was 20 when she disappeared in 2002. DeJesus was about 14 when she went missing in 2004. All were held in Castro’s Seymour Avenue house, where they were beaten and sexually abused, officials said.
Ohio state officials said Castro’s DNA was also compared to other profiles in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
There were no matches to any other Ohio case and results are pending for the national search, the attorney general’s office announced.
Castro, 52, a former school bus driver, is being held in lieu of $8 million bail on four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.
Prosecutors announced on Thursday that they will pursue more charges, some of which carry the death penalty when they present the case to a grand jury in Cuyahoga County.
Knight has told police that she endured five miscarriages during her captivity caused by Castro allegedly beating her. Prosecutors said that could be aggravated murder under Ohio law, which is a capital crime.
A variety of local and national media have reported the allegation, contained in a Cleveland police report that has not been made public.
The report of interviews with the three victims also says that Knight told police that she assisted in the birth of Berry’s child in a plastic pool. The baby was delivered by Knight, who said she was threatened with death if Berry’s child had died.
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