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3 long-missing women freed in Cleveland: The latest

By CNN Staff
updated 5:54 AM EDT, Wed May 8, 2013

Cleveland (CNN) -- Three long-missing women -- Amanda Berry, 27; Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, 23; and Michelle Knight, 32 -- and a child believed to be Berry's were found alive Monday in a Cleveland home, police said. The women are believed to have been abducted years ago -- in 2002, 2003 and 2004 -- and held captive at the home, according to police.

Three suspects, all brothers, including the home's owner, Ariel Castro, 52, were arrested and are awaiting charges, police said.

Here are the most recent developments in the case:

New developments:

-- Michelle Knight's missing persons report from the Cleveland Police Department describes her as having "mental abnormalities" and many family members seemed to be unaware that she was missing.

Neighbor: I called police in 2011
Neighbor kicked in door to rescue women
Neighbor: Strange event at Castro's home
Suspects' uncle: I never want to see them

-- At the home of 23-year-old Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, who along with Berry and Michelle Knight were allegedly held captive for years in a Cleveland house, balloons dotted the front yard. There was also a sign strung along a fence, the same one that had been there since Gina was first reported missing nine years ago.

Previously reported developments:

-- Amanda Berry told her grandmother Fern Gentry that she's "fine" and that the 6-year-old girl also rescued Monday from a Cleveland home is indeed her own. "I love you honey, thank God," her tearful grandmother said, in a call recorded by CNN affiliate WJHL. "... I've thought about you all this time. I never forgot about you."

-- The sister of 23-year-old Georgina "Gina" DeJesus said the freed woman is in "good spirits."

-- Charles Ramsey, the neighbor who broke down the door of the home where the women were captive, told CNN he did not consider himself a hero. He said he was not interested in any reward. "You've got to put that being a coward and 'I don't want to get in nobody's business,'" Ramsey said. "You got to put that away for a minute."

-- The three brothers arrested in the abduction case will be interviewed Wednesday, likely by both federal and local law enforcement officers, FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said.

-- A cadaver dog, along with various law enforcement officers, searched Ariel Castro's Cleveland home on Tuesday, said Anderson. It was not clear why a cadaver dog might be needed, or if it found anything amiss.

-- An FBI child victim specialist has interviewed all three abducted women as well as Berry's 6-year-old daughter in a "comfortable setting," according to the FBI spokeswoman.

-- The three women and the child were rescued Monday after a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, said he heard screaming from the home.

-- Ramsey said he kicked in the bottom of a door, and a woman came out with a girl and said, "Call 911, my name is Amanda Berry."

-- Ramsey and Berry called 911, authorities said. "Help me, I am Amanda Berry," she begged the operator. "I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here, I'm free now."

-- In addition to Berry, police found DeJesus and Knight at the home; all three said they were held captive there, according to authorities.

-- Police later arrested Ariel Castro, who's identified as a former school bus driver, and his two brothers. Police believe Ariel Castro was the only one of the brothers who lived at the home, Cleveland's Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba told reporters late Monday.

-- The names and ages of Ariel Castro's arrested brothers are Pedro Castro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50, Cleveland police said Tuesday.

-- Knight, of Cleveland, had been last seen on August 22, 2002, and was reported missing by a family member the next day, city Public Safety Director Martin Flask said. She was 21 at the time, according Cleveland police.

-- Berry was last seen after finishing her shift at a Burger King in Cleveland in 2003. It was the eve of her 17th birthday.

-- DeJesus, of Cleveland, disappeared nearly a year later, in April 2004. She was 14.

-- Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said Tuesday that investigators are working to answer three questions: Why and how the women were taken, and how they remained undetected.

-- Officials have no indication that anybody living near the Cleveland home ever called authorities about anything suspicious there, Flask said Tuesday. Flask said that assessment is based on an initial review of city databases; officials will continue to examine the databases, he said.

-- Since the first disappearance, police were called to the home once -- in January 2004 -- Flask said. Investigators were there at the request of Children and Family Services to investigate a complaint that Castro left a child on a school bus while he was working as a school bus driver, Flask said. Investigators knocked on the home's door but were "unsuccessful in making contact." The matter was later dropped when investigators determined that Castro had no criminal intent in the bus incident, he added.

-- Investigators are interested in looking at other properties connected to the suspects, Tomba said Tuesday.

-- FBI agents in protective suits entered Castro's Cleveland home Tuesday afternoon where three long-missing women had been held. Investigators removed a number of items Tuesday from the Cleveland home of Ariel Castro, including an amplifier, a storm door and black trash bags full of items.

-- Two vehicles -- a Jeep Cherokee and a red pickup truck -- were towed late Tuesday afternoon from the same Cleveland home.

-- Cuyahoga County authorities probably will charge the three Castro brothers Wednesday or Thursday, Special Agent Vicki Anderson, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Cleveland, said Tuesday. Morris, the police spokesman, explained that in Cleveland, there is typically a 48-hour window between when a person is arrested and charged.

-- Daniel Marti, a neighbor of Ariel Castro's who has known him since junior high school, described Castro as "a very outgoing person, very nice guy, smart." He recalled that Castro's life changed "when his wife left him back about 20 years ago."

-- Tito DeJesus, a man who says he played in a band with Cleveland abduction suspect Ariel Castro, told CNN's Brooke Baldwin Tuesday that Castro's house seemed like "a normal environment." DeJesus said he was last at the home two years ago. During the brief visit, DeJesus was only in the living room and the front of the house, he said. "It was quiet. It was like it was empty, nobody was in there. As if it was only him living in there," DeJesus said.

-- A few years ago, Tito DeJesus recalled that Castro asked him if his "cousin" had been found. DeJesus said he eventually realized that Castro was referring to Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, one of the three women who police said were rescued from the home Monday. Tito DeJesus said that he doesn't believe he's related to Georgina, although he's known her family for years.

-- The uncle of the three suspects in custody said family members are "surprised" about the developments. "Shame on you," Julio Castro told CNN's Martin Savidge, when asked what he would say to his nephews.

-- Jaycee Dugard, who was abducted as a child and freed in 2009 after 18 years of captivity behind the home of a California couple, made the following statement regarding the discovery of the Cleveland women: "These individuals need the opportunity to heal and connect back into the world. This isn't who they are. It is only what happened to them. The human spirit is incredibly resilient. More than ever this reaffirms we should never give up hope."

-- Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 when she was abducted from her Utah home and found nine months later, told CNN on Tuesday that she expects the next few months and years will be "a whirlwind" for the three women abducted. "I want them to know that nothing that has happened to them will ever diminish their value and it should never hold them back from doing what they would want to do," she said.

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