Chains, ropes in US kidnap house: Police

2013-05-08 15:42
The house where three women escaped, in Cleveland, the day after the women, who vanished a decade ago, were found there. (Tony Dejak, AP)

The house where three women escaped, in Cleveland, the day after the women, who vanished a decade ago, were found there. (Tony Dejak, AP)

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Cleveland - US police investigating the decade-long kidnap of three Ohio women found ropes and chains in the house where they were held, Cleveland police chief Michael McGrath told NBC television on Wednesday.

"We have confirmation they were bound and there were chains and ropes in the hall," he said on the Today Show, after the three missing women were rescued and three brothers were arrested on suspicion of holding them prisoner.

Cleveland police spokesperson Jennifer Ciaccia told CNN earlier that officers on Wednesday plan to interview the suspects in the case. She also said that they should be brought before a judge to face charges later in the day.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg. This investigation will take a very long time," she said, refusing to comment on reports that the women had been chained up in the house, had been beaten and had lost multiple pregnancies.

US police descended on an unremarkable home in a working class neighbourhood of Cleveland on Tuesday after the three women were rescued from their kidnappers.

Three brothers have been arrested in the Midwestern city after one of the captives managed to alert a neighbour, who broke down the door to free her and the 6-year-old daughter she apparently bore as a prisoner.

Homecoming parties

Police responding to a desperate 911 emergency call found two more women in the modest detached home with American and Puerto Rican flags on the porch. All had been reported missing in separate incidents around 10 years ago.

Journalists and local residents descended on Seymour Avenue, where officers had sealed off the property with barriers and crime scene tape, astonished that anyone could have kept such a crime quiet for so long.

The women - Amanda Berry, aged 27, Gina DeJesus, aged 23, and Michelle Knight, aged 32 - were freed on Monday night and examined at a local hospital before being released to their families, who staged joyous homecoming parties.

Relatives of the missing women were shocked and overjoyed.

"She's like my best friend. I'm glad she's home," Ricardo DeJesus, brother of Gina DeJesus, told CNN, vowing to never let his sister out of his sight again. "It is a miracle by God that she came home. That's all I can say."

Police confirmed that Berry has a 6-year-old daughter, apparently born while she was in captivity.

The three Ohio women were abducted separately in 2002, 2003 and 2004 but were found together in the home of 52-year-old Ariel Castro.

Castro and his brothers - Pedro, aged 54, and Onil, aged 50 - have been detained. Police mug shots revealed them to be thick-set men with gray beards.

Read more on:    us  |  abductions  |  cleveland kidnappings

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