Cleveland Reporter: ” R.I.P. Is Scrawled On The Wall In The Basement” Amanda Berry Kidnapping

Les Grossman

Published on May 7, 2013

“Piers Morgan Live” invited Kevin Freeman to share his intimate knowledge of a story that’s equal parts joyous and saddening.

As three women — Amanda Berry, Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, and Michelle Knight — begin the challenging process of reintegrating into society following nearly a decade in captivity, the man who’s covered the story for Cleveland’s Fox 8 revealed a detail he’d picked up through his sources:

“The letters R.I.P. — Rest in Peace — are scrawled on the wall in the basement and there’s a woman’s name which would lead you to believe that another woman was in there at some time,” Freeman told Piers Morgan. “They also say that one of the girls told investigators that that woman was with them for a while and then one day, she woke up and the girl was no longer there.”

After interviewing Freeman, the host then spoke live with a mother and her daughters. Anita Lugo, Faliceonna Lopez, and Nina Samoylicz all live in the neighborhood where the three Castro brothers are said to have held the women captive and on Tuesday evening Faliceonna revealed details of the day in she believes she saw one of the abducted women:


Neighbors Saw Naked Girls Chained on Leashes. Amanda Berry Kidnapping

Les Grossman

Published on May 7, 2013

Three women who disappeared in Cleveland a decade ago were found safe Monday, and police arrested three brothers accused of holding the victims against their will. A timeline of key events in the case:

_ Aug. 23, 2002: Michelle Knight, 20, vanishes. She was last seen at a cousin’s house near Lorain Avenue and West 106th Street.

_ April 21, 2003: Amanda Berry, 16, disappears after leaving her job at a Burger King at the corner of Lorain Avenue and West 110th Street, a few blocks from her home.

_ January 2004: Police go to Ariel Castro’s home at 2207 Seymour Ave., about 3 miles from where Knight and Berry were last seen. No one answers the door. Child welfare officials had alerted police that Castro, a school bus driver, apparently left a child unattended on a bus. Police later spoke to Castro and determined there was no criminal intent.

_ April 2, 2004: Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, 14, disappears while walking home from school. She was last seen at a telephone booth at the corner of Lorain Avenue and 105th Street.

_ November 2004: Psychic Sylvia Browne tells Berry’s mother, Louwana Miller, on “The Montel Williams Show” that her daughter is dead.

_ March 2, 2006: Miller, 43, dies after being hospitalized with pancreatitis and other ailments. She had spent the previous three years looking for her daughter.

_ November 2011: A neighbor, Israel Lugo, said he heard pounding on some of the doors of Castro’s house, which had plastic bags on the windows. Lugo said officers knocked on the front door, but no one answered. Officers walked around outside the house and left, Lugo said.

_ April 2, 2013: Family and friends of DeJesus gather for a vigil on the corner where she was last seen on the ninth anniversary of her disappearance.

_ May 6, 2013: Knight, Berry, DeJesus and a 6-year-old girl believed to be Berry’s daughter are found at Castro’s home. Police arrest three brothers, Ariel Castro, Pedro Castro and Onil Castro, in connection with the women’s disappearances.


Cleveland officer says naked lady story is false


Published on May 7, 2013

CNN’s Erin Burnett asks whether there were any signs that could have tipped cops off sooner to the alleged kidnapping. For more CNN videos, visit our site at



Kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro arraigned in court




Published on May 9, 2013

Ariel Castro, accused of kidnapping and raping three women, is arraigned and ordered held on $8 million bond.




3 long-missing women freed in Cleveland: Latest developments

By CNN Staff
updated 5:33 AM EDT, Thu May 9, 2013
Watch this video

Three separate cases, one rescue

(CNN) — Three long-missing women — Amanda Berry, 27; Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, 23; and Michelle Knight, 32 — and a 6-year-old daughter apparently born to Berry in captivity were found alive Monday in Cleveland, police said. The women are believed to have been abducted years ago — in 2002, 2003 and 2004 — and held captive at a man’s home, according to police.

Three suspects, all brothers, including the home’s main resident, Ariel Castro, 52, were arrested. On Wednesday, a prosecutor said that Castro is being charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. His brothers are not being charged in the case.

Here are recent developments:

New developments:

— Angel Cordero, who helped rescue Amanda Berry and her daughter, said he told her they had to leave quickly before the suspect returned home. “I said, ‘Let’s get out of here, because if that guy arrives he’s going to kill us. If he finds me here, he is going to kill me. He’ll kill you.” Cordero also told CNN en Español that Berry’s daughter did not appear accustomed to being around many people. She was wearing only a diaper and a sullied shirt, the rescuer said.

Previously reported developments:

Amanda Berry’s sister asks for privacy

— The three women and the child were rescued Monday after, according to a neighbor, screaming was heard coming from the home.


— Charles Ramsey and Cordero say they responded to the screaming by helping to kick in the door to help her escape.

Smart’s advice for 3 women found

Ramsey and Berry called 911, authorities said. “Help me, I am Amanda Berry,” she begged the operator. “I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years. And I’m here, I’m free now.”

— Authorities are discussing who might receive a reward for information that led to the three long-missing women, said Cleveland police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba. He singled out Charles Ramsey, Castro’s neighbor who helped free Amanda Berry and later called police. “Mr. Ramsey deserves something,” said Tomba. “He is the true key to the case.”

— While Amanda Berry was on another line, a 911 dispatcher calmly, briefly related to police officers her account of having been held captive for a decade, according to a recording of the call. One police officer responded moments later that they were on the road where Berry was and would be there soon.

— In addition to Berry, police found DeJesus and Knight at the home; all three said they were held captive there, according to authorities.

— Police later arrested Ariel Castro, who’s identified as a former school bus driver, and his two brothers. All three Castro brothers were together when they were arrested, at which time authorities felt “we had enough probable cause to bring them into custody,” said Tomba. But over the course of the investigation, officials “found no facts to link” Onil and Pedro Castro to the kidnapping case.

— Onil and Pedro Castro are set to appear Thursday morning in Cleveland Municipal Court related to outstanding warrants out on both men for misdemeanor cases, Victor Perez, chief assistant prosecutor for the city of Cleveland, said late Wednesday afternoon.. Tomba said that the judge will then determine whether the two men get credit for time served and are released.

— Ariel Castro faces charges on four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, said Perez.

He will be arraigned Thursday morning on the seven charges — each of them first-degree felonies — in Cleveland Municipal Court, then his case will be transferred to a Cuyahoga County court. The prosecutor’s office for that county will handle the case, with a grand jury deciding on an indictment that could include additional counts, according to Perez.

— In charging documents for Ariel Castro released Wednesday, police said that Castro lured Knight into his vehicle on Lorain Avenue on August 22, 2002, took her to his home, and over the subsequent years “repeatedly sexually assaulted” her. Police laid out the same scenario for Berry, who was allegedly lured into Castro’s vehicle on the same road on April 21, 2003. DeJesus was allegedly lured into Castro’s vehicle on April 2, 2004, and, like the other two women, sexually assaulted repeatedly in the subsequent years.

— Ariel Castro has been talking with investigators since his arrest, said Tomba. “We don’t see or anticipate any other victims of his.”

— Knight, of Cleveland, had been last seen on August 22, 2002, and was reported missing by a family member the next day, said Martin Flask, Cleveland’s public safety director. She was 21 at the time, according Cleveland police.

— Berry was last seen after finishing her shift at a Burger King in Cleveland in 2003. It was the eve of her 17th birthday.

— DeJesus, of Cleveland, disappeared nearly a year later, in April 2004. She was 14.

— The three women hadn’t left Ariel Castro’s property and had only gone outside “on two separate occasions … briefly” in the years in which they were held captive, said Flask.

— The man who allegedly held the young women captive would often test them by pretending to leave, then returning suddenly to discipline them if they made any move to escape, the same source told CNN. Amanda Berry — the 27-year-old captive who pushed to get free Monday — “just knew” that (suspect Ariel) Castro was gone at the time and “had hit her breaking point,” according to the source.

— The women “relied on each other for survival,” a law enforcement source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation said. The three interacted during their captivity, though they were typically kept in separate rooms, according to the source.

— A paternity test will be conducted to determine whether Ariel Castro is the biological father of the 6-year-old daughter of Berry who was freed Monday, said Tomba. The girl was born while her mother was held captive.

— When Berry escaped, the two other young women also being held in the house could have run but chose not to, the law enforcement source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation said. The two other women who did not flee had “succumbed” to “their reality,” the source said, describing them as brainwashed and fearful.

— None of the three women was bound on the day they were freed, according to the source. Earlier, Cleveland’s police chief told NBC’s “Today” show that “we have confirmation that they were bound, and there (were) chains and ropes in the home.”

— The freed women are “safe and healthy,” Perez said late Wednesday afternoon.

— Michelle Knight’s missing persons report from the Cleveland Police Department describes her as having “mental abnormalities”; many family members seemed to be unaware that she was missing.

— The mother of Michelle Knight told NBC on Wednesday that she cried when she heard her daughter was found. Barbara Knight told NBC that she had been looking for her daughter during the years she was gone. “She’s probably angry at the world because she thought she would never be found but thank God that somebody did.” She was asked what she would say to Michelle if and when she got to see her. “I love you and I missed you all this time,” she said.

— Michelle Knight was at Cleveland’s Metro Health Medical Center on Wednesday morning, hospital spokeswoman Tina Shaerban-Arundel said. The spokeswoman did not say what Knight was being treated for, but did say that Knight “is in good condition.” On Tuesday, the hospital said that it had released all three rescued women. Shaerban-Arundel said Wednesday that the hospital stood by its Tuesday statement, but she did not elaborate.


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