DNA shows Ohio kidnapping suspect fathered girl
A DNA test confirmed another dark twist in the story of three women imprisoned in a house for about a decade: Kidnapping and rape suspect Ariel Castro is the father of a 6-year-old girl who escaped from the house along with the women, a prosecutor said yesterday.
As the investigation into the women’s ordeal continued, the FBI also said no human remains were among the more than 200 pieces of evidence collected from the house.
Two of the women, including the one who gave birth to the girl, returned to relatives’ houses earlier this week. The third woman, Michelle Knight, was released from a hospital yesterday with a request that her privacy be respected.
“Michelle Knight is in good spirits and would like the community to know that she is extremely grateful for the outpouring of flowers and gifts,” the statement said.
Castro remained in jail under a suicide watch on $8 million bond while prosecutors weighed what charges they might bring against him, including the possibility of charges carrying a death penalty. He is charged with rape and kidnapping.
Castro was represented at Thursday’s hearing by public defender Kathleen Demetz, who said she is acting as Castro’s adviser if needed until he’s appointed a full-time attorney once he’s charged by a grand jury. She said yesterday she can’t speak to his guilt or innocence and said only that she advised him not to give any media interviews that might jeopardize his case.
A police report alleged that Castro impregnated one of his captives at least five times and made her miscarry by starving her and punching her in the stomach. The report also said another one of the women, Amanda Berry, was forced to give birth in a kiddie pool.
Tests by the state attorney general’s office on a sample of Castro’s DNA confirmed that he is the father of Berry’s 6-year-old daughter, who was rescued from his house, the office said yesterday. After her release, the girl returned home with Berry, 27. Officials also were entering the DNA profile into a national database to see if it links him to other crimes.