News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Greater Akron Chamber

Metro RTA

Hennes Paynter Communications


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Crime and Courts


Nice guys, drinkers, kidnappers? Who were the Castro brothers?
UPDATE: POLICE HAVE CHARGED ARIEL CASTRO WITH FOUR COUNTS OF KIDNAPPING AND THREE OF RAPE, BUT HIS BROTHERS, PEDRO AND ONIL HAVE BEEN CLEARED.
Brothers investigated in the kidnapping and imprisonment of three women for a decade were integrated, but a

by WKSU's IDA LIESZKOVSZKY


Reporter
Ida Lieszkovszky
 
Seymour Avenue neighbhor Juan Perez says he's happy the women are free, but wonders what he missed.
Courtesy of MARK URYCKI
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Who are the Castro brothers?  Ariel, Onil, and Pedro, brothers in their 50s, arrested in the missing persons case that has shocked Cleveland and the world. It was Ariel’s house in Cleveland’s near west side where the three young women were found and escaped captivity Monday night. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN's Ida Lieszkovszky has this report about a neighborhood in disbelief.

LIESZKOVSZKY: Who are the Castro brothers?

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:50)


Ariel Castro’s house is cordoned off by police barriers. A helicopter hovers overhead while reporters and curious passersby gawk at the small white house with an eagle tacked above the porch, an American flag waving in the front. They try  to imagine what it could have been like for three women to spend a decade in there – locked up. Two of them were just teenagers when they disappeared. 


For Ariel Castro’s neighbors it’s hard to grasp what has happened. 

“Great gut. Nice guy. Perfect gentlemen. The mask he had on was amazing," says Juan Perez, who's lived two doors down from Ariel Castro for 22 years. 

“I’m excited that they found the girls alive. ... But I’m so ticked off at myself and everybody else that we could have saved these ladies sooner.” 

“Parents trusted him enough to let me play with his kids. Real cool guy. Helped me with a flat tire. He was just a really nice guy. And I thought the house was vacant.” 

A darker history
Several people thought that. The windows were covered with plastic sheets. 


For a long time, Ariel worked as a bus driver for Cleveland schools, but he was fired a few years ago. Once he left a child on a bus while he took a lunch break. 


Back in the 1990’s he was charged in a domestic dispute case, accused of beating Grimilda Figueroa, the mother of his children. His son, Anthony, has told reporters that Ariel would sometimes beat him, too. 

Ariel’s Facebook page shows a love of guitars and family. Occasionally he’d play with a local band. But mostly, neighbors say, he kept to himself. 

What about the brothers?
A couple streets over on Kinkel Avenue is second brother Onil Castro’s home. Neighbors say they never had a problem with the man living in the small peach-colored house.  He drank every day but was nice.  He had minor run-ins with the law. According to public records, he was found guilty of drug abuse and disorderly conduct and intoxication in 1999,  and in 2001 he was charged with possessing fireworks. 

A similar story can be heard not too far away on Hyde Avenue, where the third brother – Pedro – lived with his mother, Lillian Rodriguez. 

Alisa Laboy, Pedro’s neighbor says he didn’t work, and he too often appeared to be drunk – and got cited for it. 

“Most of the time he was sitting on the porch or he was walking to the corner store he’d pass by and say, ‘Hello’ or something like that.” 

Who could have known more?
Laboy remembers talking to Pedro about the missing girls last year, when police got a tip that one of them is buried nearby and started digging only to come up empty handed. 

“I remember me and my husband talking to Pedro about that and he said, ‘Oh, she’s not even in there, that’s probably messing with people’s minds.’ And he kept walking to the store.” 

Laboy and her sister-in-law used to pick peaches in Pedro’s back yard, and say his mother was quiet, and kind. 

Back on Seymour Avenue, near the house where police believe the three women were held, neighbors are second-guessing themselves. 

“The thing is, I’m excited that they found the girls alive,” says Juan Perez. “But I can’t really be happy because I’m so ticked off at myself and everybody else that we could have saved these ladies sooner.” 


(Click image for larger view.)


Related WKSU Stories

Cleveland abduction case leaves more questions than answers
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio survey shows low-income people are choosing phones over food
Where is this study published? no sign of it on google scholar. is there a cite

The Akron Sound rocks the porches
fabulous group interview! you covered so much in so little time. wish i could be there for porch rockr.

Head of Ohio Dems says Kasich administration is lying about Suarez contacts
when Kasich's mouth is open , he's lying. Look what he did at Lehmans brothers and then lied about it all during the campaign. If a GOP didn't lie, he or she ...

Canton's Basilica of St. John absorbs news of the pope at morning Mass
Hello Chris,Marina,and Patrice, I just read this article and you all look great. I'm on facebook Jean Dutcher in blue and white stripped blouse. I"M so glad to ...

Exploradio: Avoiding the 'acting-white' trap
Growing-up black and being black should not determine that you will not speak well or will not be a high achiever in your goals in life.But society te nds to la...

Charter-school supporters to rally at Statehouse
I am on the bus now headed to the rally. Horizon is an excellent school. My son is is 7 th grade. The teachers and administrators are top notch and spend so m...

Former Nursing Home Land Added to Parks
In addition, LED technology also plays a very important role in advertising- LED placard is very, very useful for shop owners.

Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments on school funding
That's not true. Other school districts HAVE followed this law and done this. Oakhills is one of them and how they were able to provide technology for their s...

Death and beauty at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art
What a disgusting story to air at lunch time.

Ohio Supreme Court grills attorneys on flooding and million-dollar fixes
Perhaps the State of Ohio should take the lead and implement state wide water shed districts that would collect minimum fees. The funds could then be distribute...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University