Questions Mount on How Ohio Women’s Captivity Went Undetected
As authorities prepared to file charges against three brothers suspected of keeping three young women captive for nearly a decade, police on Wednesday said they found chains and ropes used to bind the victims inside the Cleveland house where they were held.
Some details about the women’s ordeal began to emerge as euphoria over their rescue on Monday evening gave way to questions of how their imprisonment inside a house on a residential street in Cleveland, Ohio went undetected for so long.
Several neighbors said they had called police to report suspicious activity at the house in a dilapidated neighborhood on Cleveland’s West Side, where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Berry’s 6-year-old daughter escaped from their captors.
But police denied those calls from neighbors were made.
“We have no record of those calls coming in over the last ten years,” Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said on Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show.
McGrath said he was confident police did not miss opportunities to find the missing women.
“Absolutely, there’s no question about it,” he said.
FBI agents were searching through the house where the women were believed held since vanishing between 2002 and 2004 from the same neighborhood, he said.
“We have confirmation that they were bound, and there (were) chains and ropes in the home,” he said.
The women had been allowed outside “very rarely” during their captivity, he said. “They were released out in the backyard once in a while.”
McGrath said the women were in good physical condition, “considering the circumstances.”