05:20 AM EDT 12/22/2014
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 05/09/2013 08:10AM
Is there a fourth victim?
The police are still searching for a fourth girl who went missing six years ago from the same area in Ohio where three missing women were discovered on Monday.
Ashley Summers was 14 when she vanished near her Cleveland home in 2007. She was last spotted about three miles away from the run-down residence owned by former school bus driver Ariel Castro, who is charged with kidnapping and raping Amanda Berry, 27, Michelle Knight, 32, and Gina DeJesus, about 23, who had apparently been held captive in the house since their teens or early 20s, police said.
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