Law enforcement source: How Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight were abducted, abused


CLEVELAND - Graphic and heartbreaking details emerge from a law enforcement source about how three Cleveland, Ohio, women were abducted and the physical abuse they endured inside the house of horrors.

The confidential source exclusively told reporter Michael Baldwin of our sister station WEWS that Michelle Knight ran into an officer's arms when she saw him, her chest hurt and she could barely breathe.

Michelle was free for the first time in more than a decade.

Michelle told the law enforcement source that Ariel Castro offered her a ride home that fateful day in August 2002 while she was on West 106th Street and Lorain Avenue.

Instead, Castro took Michelle to his house, the source said.

Amanda Berry told the law enforcement source that Castro also offered her a ride home, telling her that his son worked at Burger King so dropping her off there wouldn't be a problem.

Berry became his next kidnapping victim.

Castro reportedly used the same approach with Gina DeJesus on West 105th Street and Lorain Avenue -- only Gina knew Castro's daughter and felt it was OK to get inside his vehicle. Castro told Gina he would give her a ride to his house to meet up with his daughter, who never came to the Seymour Avenue home.

All three women told the law enforcement source they were chained in the basement but eventually freed and allowed to live upstairs on the second floor.

Michelle told the source she was impregnated at least five times by Castro, who reportedly would abort each baby by punching her in the stomach until she miscarried.

Amanda had her baby, Joyclen, in the house in a plastic pool "so the mess was easier to clean up," the source noted.

Michelle delivered Amanda's baby girl and Castro told her if the baby died, so would she. At one point, the source said Joyclen had stopped breathing, but Michelle gave her mouth to mouth until she came back to life.

The women said none of them have been to a doctor since their abductions and neither has Joyclen.

All three women were sex slaves to Castro, but Gina said she didn't think she was ever impregnated by him.

The law enforcement source also said the women were only allowed outside in the backyard. They were forced to wear wigs and sunglasses and to keep their heads down.

Amanda said Joyclen didn't know Michelle or Gina's real names in case they were out at a public place, like a park, so people wouldn't know what was going on.

On Monday, Amanda told the law enforcement source that a big inside door was left unlocked when Castro left but the storm door remained latched. Amanda tried to get it open but told the source she was afraid to break it open because she thought Castro was trying to "test her."

Amanda then saw neighbors on a porch and began frantically screaming until Charles Ramsey and another man came to her rescue. They helped her break out of the house and call 911.

A description of Castro and his vehicle were provided which led to the alleged abductor's arrest at a nearby McDonald's.

When approached by authorities, the source also said Castro asked if the arrest was about his brother Pedro Castro who was at their mother's house. The source said Pedro was then taken into custody. Another brother, Onil, was arrested hours later.

On Wednesday afternoon, kidnapping and rape charges were filed against Ariel Castro. His brothers do not face any immediate charges.

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