PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The community surrounding three women who were found in Cleveland alive, more than 10 years after going missing is relieved.
The aunt of Gina DeJesus, one of the three women found, says she is so happy and relieved to have her niece back.
“This is a miracle — a very, very large miracle,” DeJesus’ aunt Sandra Ruiz said. “Give us the family and Gina, Michelle and Amanda some time.”
Friends and family of all three women, including Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight and overjoyed.
“I’m happy, I’m so happy,” one woman said.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Gina DeJesus’ father waved to a supportive crowd of onlookers.
DeJesus’ and Berry’s homes were flooded with welcome sigs and balloons.
Three brothers were arrested in connection with the crime. They have been identified as Ariel Castro, 52; Pedro Castro, 54; and Onil Castro, 50. Ariel Castro owns the house where the women were found.
Ariel Castro is a former school bus driver.
Castro also played in bands with DeJesus’ uncle for 20 ears, her uncle even visited the house once, but says he didn’t notice anything strange. Castro also once visited a candlelight vigil to remember the missing girls.
At Ariel Castro’s house, FBI agents in white suits could be seen carrying out bags of evidence. A process Cleveland’s Chief of Police says will likely be a lengthy one.
“There’s a lot to do there so they’ll be there maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow,” Chief Michael McGrath said. “It could be another 36 hours while they’re processing the home.”
Police will have to determine why and how the three brothers got away with this crime for so long.
Two men who knew the brothers say they’re shocked.
“I never thought that he was capable of doing this,” one man who knew Ariel Castro said.
“We were just together a couple of weeks ago,” said Edwin Riveria who also knew Ariel Castro. “He knew what was going on, but he wouldn’t tell nobody. You couldn’t tell, the way he acted – you couldn’t tell that he was doing this.”
Before this week, police had been to the brothers’ house twice — once in 2000 for a fight in the street and again in 2004 when a child welfare official accused Ariel Castro of leaving a child unattended on a bus, but on one answered the door.