Home / National News / Cleveland Kidnap Suspect’s Daughter ‘Embarrassed, Disappointed’


(NEW YORK) — The daughter of the lone Cleveland man accused of kidnapping and raping three women for a decade says she is “disappointed” and “embarrassed” by her father’s alleged actions.

“[I’m] just mainly devastated about this whole situation,” Arlene Castro, 22,  said Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Arlene said she had not spoken to her father, Ariel Castro, since “late last month” and had “no idea” that her father, a 52-year-old former school bus driver, could have been the man who allegedly kidnapped and held three women — Amanda Berry, 27, Michele Knight, 32, and Gina DeJesus, 23 — against their will for about a decade.

Ariel was charged Wednesday with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape.

“Me and my father were never really that close,” said Arlene, who now lives in Indiana.  “Every time we would talk it would just be short conversations, just a hello, how are you doing and let me know if you need anything and that was it.”

Police have made it clear they believe that each kidnap victim was “repeatedly sexually assaulted by the defendant,”  and that the abuse occurred “during the entire course of captivity,” according to charging documents filed in court Wednesday.

They also believe the women were initially chained in the basement of the Cleveland home from which they escaped Monday after Berry managed to alert neighbors who got them out.

Arlene, however, says she “never” witnessed any violence in her family’s home.  She also said she never saw Jocelyn, the 6-year-old girl delivered by Berry while she was held in captivity.

Jocelyn, police say, was the captive who had the most freedom.  The 6-year-old left the house occasionally with the suspect, Cleveland Chief of Police Michael McGrath told ABC News.  

Police said they were conducting a paternity test and were not yet certain the baby was fathered by Castro.

“I have never met her before,” Arlene said on GMA.

In a twist, Arlene was reportedly the last person to have seen one of the kidnapping victims, DeJesus, her best friend at the time.  

In a 2005 interview with America’s Most Wanted — a year after DeJesus disappeared — Arlene said the two were walking together after school in April 2004 and separated after Arlene’s mom told her to come home.

“My mom said, ‘No,’ I can’t go over to [Gina’s] house.  I told her I couldn’t.  She said, Well, I’ll talk to you later’ and just walked,” Arlene told America’s Most Wanted.

Now that her friend has been found, Arlene has a message for her.

“I am absolutely so, so sorry,” she said on GMA, fighting back tears.  “I really want to see Gina and I want you to meet my kids.  I’m so sorry for everything.”

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