FBI agents search the home where three Cleveland women were found alive after vanishing in Cleveland, Ohio, May 7, 2013.
Credits: REUTERS/JOHN GRESS
CLEVELAND -- For 10 long years, kidnapping victims Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus watched and waited -- changing from girls to women and enduring unimaginable things -- hoping for a chance to escape.
And when the opportunity finally presented itself earlier this week, they seized it.
Shocking details are now emerging about what the trio experienced inside the house of horrors on Seymour Ave. and how they were ultimately freed as Cleveland Police announced Wednesday only one of the three Castro brothers will face charges.
Ariel Castro, 52, is expected to be charged formally Thursday with three counts of rape and four counts of kidnapping -- the latter includes the child Berry gave birth to six years ago while imprisoned.
Cleveland Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba said the accused has spoken openly to investigators.
Castro's statement -- combined with the victims' interviews -- provided police with a fairly clear picture about what transpired over the last decade.
"The only opportunity (they) to escape was the other day," Tomba said.
He said the victims were only able to recall being allowed outside briefly on a couple of occasions during their captivity and each time they were made to wear disguises.
When police first went inside the house "it was in disarray," Tomba said.
They also found ropes, chains and tape in the basement, which was blocked by a padlocked door.
Tomba confirmed the trio were not kept in a single room and said "they did know each other and they did know each other was there."
He also said a paternity test will be done to confirm speculation that the accused is the father of Berry's daughter.
The accused often took the little girl out to the park and other places, so she was not allowed to know the names of the other women in the home, Tomba said, explaining there was a fear she might blurt out the names in public.
He said no other women are believed to have been snatched by Castro, but he refused to elaborate on the abuse the three women were subjected to during their imprisonment.
However, some of the horrific details have been revealed by local media.
Channel 5 News claims a police source told them Castro abducted the victims by offering them each a ride.
DeJesus was actually with his daughter, Arlene, who was her middle-school classmate, when he spotted her. He allegedly drove his daughter home and then went back for DeJesus.
The victims were allegedly kept in the basement initially and over time they were allowed upstairs. On the few occasions they were allowed outside, they had to wear wigs and sunglasses and were told to keep their heads down.
The source also revealed Knight became pregnant five times, but Castro allegedly punched her in the stomach until she miscarried on each occasion.
For some reason, Amanda was allowed to carry her child to term.
Channel 5 News reports she gave birth to her daughter, Jocelyn, inside the house but in a children's pool, so it would be easier to clean up the mess.
Knight apparently helped deliver the baby girl, who had never seen a doctor until this week.
DeJesus doesn't believe she was ever impregnated while in captivity, according to the local news outlet.