Cleveland missing women case has tie to Rochester paper

Kidnapping suspect, Ariel Castro's home on Seymour street in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo Credit: WOIO/MGN Online

As the case against the man accused of holding three women prisoners against their will in his Cleveland home for a decade awaits grand jury action, details unravel in the case, with strings attached to one of his sons, a newspaper article, and even Western New York.

In Cleveland Thursday morning, Ariel Castro, 52, looked at the ground as he was arraigned on charges of rape and kidnapping.

Castro faces three counts of rape against the three women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. He also faces four counts of kidnapping; one for each captive, and the 6-year-old daughter born to Amanda Berry.

His brothers, Pedro and Onil Castro, were arraigned on unrelated misdemeanors and are not charged in connection with the kidnappings, though they were arrested alongside Ariel Monday night.

As family friends and members of the community react to the news, many of them are shocked. Ariel Castro attended candelight vigils for two of the missing women and even helped in the search for one. Now, one of his sons is speaking up.

Ariel "Anthony" Castro, 31, says his father deserves to spend the rest of his life locked up. He says he's glad the three women are okay.

"This is beyond comprehension," Anthony told Cleveland's NBC affiliate, WKYC. "I'm truly stunned right now."

In 2004, Anthony, then a journalism student at Bowling Green State University, wrote an article about one of the missing girls.

In the article featured in the Plain Press, a community newspaper serving neighbors on Cleveland's west side, Anthony wrote about DeJesus, and the effect her disappearance was having on the neighborhood. He wrote about how nearly everyone on the west side felt a connection to 14-year-old Gina, who's picture appeared on telephone poles.

Anthony now lives about two and a half hours from Cleveland, in Columbus, Ohio.

In 2004, the same year he wrote the article, he spent the summer interning in Rochester, at the Democrat & Chronicle. He interned as a Dow Jones copy editor at the paper's copy editing desk.

In a blog featured on the Democrat & Chronicle's website, Dick Moss, who at that time was Copy Desk Chief, remembers Castro in the newsroom.

"I honestly have only a vague memory of the younger Castro's time on the copy desk and we don't routinely keep records of such interns, but I can confirm that he was here in Rochester for 10 weeks that summer," Moss, who at that point was Castor's supervisor, writes. "I recognized the name right away when I found out about the connection and confirmed my memory by seeing his face on his LinkedIn page. To my knowledge he has not returned to the Rochester area since 2004 for any extended length of time."

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)

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