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Plenty yet to learn in Cleveland captive case

By Michael Pearson, CNN
updated 1:32 PM EDT, Thu May 9, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Did anyone know?
  • Could Castro face murder charges?
  • What about the $25,000 reward?

(CNN) -- A flood of details has emerged in the past 24 hours about the case of Ariel Castro and the three women police say he held for close to a decade inside his modest Cleveland home.

Based on an initial incident report obtained by CNN, we know the women -- Amanda Berry, 27; Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, 23; and Michelle Knight, 32 -- say they were beaten and sexually abused. One says she suffered at least five miscarriages induced by starvation and beating. And we know they only rarely, and briefly, left the home on Seymour Avenue that had become their prison.

But some questions remain unanswered in this case. Here's a look at a few of them:

Did anyone know? And if not, how could that be?

It seems implausible -- three women, and later a child, held captive for close to a decade within a 1,400-square-foot home in a densely populated urban neighborhood without anyone else knowing.

See kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro
When kidnapped become brainwashed

Wouldn't his brothers or other relatives, his children -- somebody -- have noticed something strange going on?

At first, authorities seemed to think so: they arrested Castro and his two brothers on Monday, saying initially that the brothers were linked to the investigation. On Tuesday, however, they said that didn't seem to be the case.

One explanation may be Castro's penchant for obsessive privacy around his home, according to the father of his late common-law wife.

Ishmael Figueroa once shared a home with his daughter, Grimilda Figueroa, and Castro. Figueroa lived downstairs, the couple lived upstairs. Castro, he says, would never let anyone visit the second floor.

And when Castro and Grimilda Figueroa moved to the house on Seymour Avenue -- where the women were later discovered -- Castro wouldn't even let family members through the front door.

"Ariel kept everybody at a distance," said Cleveland Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba.

Timeline: From missing to liberated

Could Castro be charged with murder?

It's an intriguing question. Ohio is one of 38 states with a fetal homicide law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Authorities have searched Castro's home and found no evidence of human remains. But in her initial interview Monday with police, Knight told investigators that she had suffered at least five miscarriages, according to the incident report obtained by CNN.

Castro would starve and punch her in the stomach to induce miscarriage, Knight said, according to the document.

Authorities haven't publicly discussed such an idea, but CNN affiliate WOIO -- citing multiple law enforcement sources -- said authorities are investigating the possibility of murder charges against Castro.

Will anyone get the reward?

Berry's and DeJesus' disappearances were frequently in the news, and a $25,000 reward was on offer in the case.

In the immediate aftermath of Berry's daring escape, speculation centered on whether Charles Ramsey, one of two neighbors who came to her aid, deserved the reward. Ramsey himself suggested the money should go to the women.

Authorities haven't concluded who, if anyone, should get the money, but are discussing it, Tomba said.

"That is going to be up to the entities that put up that reward money and what their protocol is, but Mr. Ramsey does deserve something. A lot of credit and he is the true key to this case," Tomba said.

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Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus weren't in the courtroom. But their diaries gave authorities a window into the horror they suffered for a decade.
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They were living in hell, and Ariel Castro did all he could to make sure they'd never escape it.
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updated 10:06 AM EDT, Tue July 9, 2013
For the first time since their rescue, the world is hearing directly from the three women who were held captive in Cleveland for a decade.
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For his victims, Thursday was roughly a decade in coming.
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In retrospect, there were plenty of signs that something was wrong.
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For the first time, take a look inside the Cleveland house where three women were held captive for a decade.
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When the police arrived at Castro's house, it was almost peaceful. As if nobody else was there. And then they heard the sound of scurrying feet upstairs.
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Two were just teenagers when they were kidnapped, but the three women have finally been found a decade later.
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When Amanda Berry screamed for help through a crack in the front door of the house where she was being held, she set in motion an end to roughly a decade of captivity for herself and two other women.
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His Cleveland neighbors are trying to come with grips with the two personas -- the first, they thought they knew, the other, the one that authorities describe.
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