08:24 PM EDT 03/07/2014
Originally posted 08/07/2013 08:45AM
The Cleveland house of horrors where convicted kidnapper Ariel Castro kept three women captive for a decade went under the bulldozer Wednesday morning.
And there to watch it fall: survivor Michelle Knight, carrying a bouquet of yellow balloons in a symbolic moment of triumph now that she and the other survivors, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, move forward to reclaim their lives.
The razing occurs less than a week after Castro, 53, was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years.
Originally posted 08/06/2013 02:00PM
Californians received the first-ever statewide cell phone Amber alert Monday night after a San Diego-area man allegedly abducted a 16-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother.
James Lee DiMaggio, 40, is also suspected of burning down a house where firefighters recovered the body of the children's mother, Christina Anderson, 44, as well as the body of a child whose remains have not yet been identified and the remains of a dog.
San Diego County Sheriff's officials alerted that DiMaggio was suspected of murdering Anderson. They said he might be driving Hannah and Ethan Anderson in a blue, 2013 Nissan Versa, with California license plate 6WCU986, towards Texas or Canada.
Originally posted 07/29/2013 02:30PM
Wearing a scarf to mask his face, the gunman held up at least three security guards and then fled the luxury Cannes hotel roughly a minute later with $136 million in diamond jewelry.
The simple, speedy theft is the biggest jewelry heist in years.
Police had previously said Sunday's theft at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel had netted $53 million worth of treasure – even at that level, a major haul. Reached by the Associated Press, Philippe Vique, an assistant prosecutor in the Riviera town of Grasse, said the Dubai-based organizer of the diamond show had since raised the value based on a more complete inventory.
Originally posted 07/26/2013 11:10AM
A Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for about a decade has agreed to plead guilty in a deal to avoid the death penalty.
Ariel Castro entered the new plea Friday. In exchange, prosecutors said the 53-year-old Castro would be sentenced to life without parole plus 1,000 years.
Castro had been charged in a 977-count indictment.
Originally posted 07/09/2013 06:00AM
Originally posted 07/08/2013 07:45AM
Mark Redwine refused to stop looking for his 13-year-old son Dylan, who went missing from his Colorado home during Thanksgiving week 2012.
While law enforcement searched a nearby mountainside last week, Redwine was in Indianapolis, handing out fliers to truck drivers so they could look for his child on their routes.
"I was on a mission to take Dylan's story nationally," Redwine tells PEOPLE. "I always held out hope that I would see my son again."
Instead, he received a call no parent wants to hear.
Originally posted 05/17/2013 01:00PM
Though each was young and vulnerable, all three of Ariel Castro's alleged kidnap victims came armed with strengths that would help them endure the years of horror ahead.
Gina DeJesus, 14, had the buoyancy and affection of a well-loved child who knew that home and family were worth fighting for. Strong-willed Amanda Berry, 16, was, to her family, “the glue that kept everyone calm," says childhood friend Lisha Jacome, who lived briefly in the Berry home.
A frequent babysitter for her sister's two daughters, Berry had child-care skills when she bore Castro's child in 2007. For that birth Castro designated his oldest captive, Michelle Knight, as midwife – and threatened to kill her if the baby died. The mother of a 2-year-old son when she was kidnapped at age 21, Knight not only had experienced childbirth, she had helped perform a delivery of the family dog's puppies as a kid.
Originally posted 05/13/2013 07:05AM
Ariel Castro's two brothers have disowned and distanced themselves from their sibling, whom they consider "a monster" who should rot in jail following his arrest last week on accusations of kidnapping and holding three young women captive in his grimy Cleveland home for up to a decade until their rescue last Monday.
"I had nothing to do with this, and I don't know how my brother got away with it for so many years," Pedro Castro, 54, in a joint interview with his brother Onil Castro, 50, conducted by CNN's Martin Savidge this weekend.
Initially believed to be potential suspects, Pedro and Onil were arrested last week and then released when authorities said the brothers had no involvement in the kidnappings. Their 52-year-old middle brother, remains in a Cleveland jail on $8 million bond, charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.
Originally posted 05/09/2013 02:35PM
She looks different, and no wonder.
Gina DeJesus, found alive this week, was barely a teenager when she was abducted nine years ago. Today, she is thinner, paler and with shorter hair than when she was last seen. But her family knows she's still the Gina they knew.
"She was 14. She looked like a 14-year-old. Now she's a woman. She's a 23-year-old woman," Lydia Esparra, a family friend who visited DeJesus in her home Wednesday, told PEOPLE.
Gina is "very tiny, very petite, and her hair is shorter," Esparra said. "When she was kidnapped she had longer hair, but now she has shorter hair … Despite being skinny, she looked very healthy. She obviously doesn't have a lot of skin color, because she's been living in a house with no sun for nine years. But she looks amazing. Amazing."
Originally posted 05/09/2013 08:40AM
A Cleveland man was arraigned Thursday on charges of rape and kidnapping after three women missing for about a decade were found alive at his home on Monday.
Ariel Castro appeared in court Thursday morning. He looked down at the ground for nearly the entire proceeding, biting his collar and signing documents with his handcuffed hands. He didn't speak. Bond was set at $2 million on each case.
The women found alive after a decade in captivity endured lonely, dark lives inside a dingy home where they were raped and allowed outside only a handful of times in disguises while walking to a garage steps away, investigators say.
The 52-year-old former school bus driver has emerged as the lone suspect.
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