Entries in Kidnapper (5)


Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Found Dead in Prison Cell

Angelo Merendino/Getty Images(ORIENT, Ohio) -- Convicted Cleveland kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro has died after he was found hanged in his prison cell, Ohio Department of Corrections confirmed to ABC News.

Castro, 53, was found hanging in his cell at Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, on Tuesday at approximately 9:20 p.m. local time, corrections spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.

Upon finding Castro in his cell, facility staff tried to resuscitate him, according to Smith.  Castro was taken to Ohio State University Medical Center and was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m.

"Inmate Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell this evening at 9:20 p.m. at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient.  He was housed in protective custody which means he was in a cell by himself and rounds are required every 30 minutes at staggered intervals," Smith said in a statement.

"A thorough review of this incident is underway and more information can be provided as it becomes available pending the status of the investigation," the statement concluded.

Castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 1,000 years by an Ohio judge on Aug. 1.  Castro, a former school bus driver, kidnapped Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus between 2002 and 2004 and imprisoned them, sometimes restrained by chains, in his Cleveland home.

Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping, rape, assault and aggravated murder.  The plea deal spared Castro the death penalty because he was accused of the aggravated murder of a fetus after forcibly causing an abortion in one of his victims that he is accused of impregnating.

The women escaped on May 6, when Berry broke part of a door and yelled to neighbors for help.  Castro was arrested that evening.

The home where Castro held his victims was torn down last month as part of the plea deal.

At Castro's sentencing hearing last month, he shocked a Cleveland court by saying he was "not a monster," "lived a normal life" and that the sex he had with the three women he held captive for more than a decade was "consensual."

Castro's statement came after Knight confronted him for the "hell" she endured in his house for 11 years.

Castro showed no reaction to the remarks by Knight.  Instead, he gave a rambling speech in which he depicted himself as a person who had "everything going" for himself but was plagued by an addiction to porn.

During the hearing, detectives told how he captured the three women and subjected them to a decade of torture, which one woman wrote in a diary was like being held as a "prisoner of war."

While in captivity, Berry gave birth to her now 6-year-old daughter, who Castro fathered.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Kidnapper Ariel Castro 'Calm and Cooperative' in Temporary Prison Home

ABC News(CLEVELAND) -- Kidnapper Ariel Castro has been "calm and cooperative" since being moved to his temporary prison home, where he will stay until Ohio officials determine where he will spend the rest of his life, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Castro was moved to Lorain Correctional Institution at 6:25 p.m. on Friday where he'll be in solitary confinement, Department of Corrections Spokeswoman JoEllen Smith told ABC News.

Lorain is a "reception prison" where Castro will be evaluated before being moved to his still undetermined permanent prison, she said. He may be at Lorain for weeks.

Castro accepted a plea deal on July 27 that sends him to prison for life plus "not less than 1,000 years" with no chance of parole for abducting three women and keeping them as sex slaves for over a decade.

At his sentencing hearing this week, he shocked a Cleveland court by saying he is "not a monster," "lived a normal life" and that the sex he had with the three women he held captive for more than a decade was "consensual."

Castro's statement came after one of his victims, the petite Michelle Knight, confronted him for the "hell" she endured in his house for 11 years.

Castro showed no reaction to the remarks by Knight. Instead, he gave a rambling speech in which he depicted himself as a person who had "everything going" for himself but was plagued by an addiction to porn.

Castro, 53, also denied that he ever raped Knight or his two other victims, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, during the years they were incarcerated in his house.

"Most of the sex that went on in the house, and probably all of it, was consensual," Castro said.

"These people are trying to paint me as a monster. I'm not a monster. I'm sick. My sexual problem, it's so bad on my mind," Castro said.

"God as my witness, I never beat these women like they're trying to say that I did. I never tortured them," he said.

He insisted "there was a lot of harmony" in his house among himself and his captives.

Castro had such an emotional attachment to the home that prosecutors said he broke down in tears when he had to sign over the property deed last week, saying it was wrong to tear it down because he had so many happy memories there.

When Castro finished, Judge Michael Russo thanked Knight for her "remarkable restraint" during the statement.

"You're welcome," she replied, prompting light laughter.

Castro's statement came after Knight bravely delivered a victim's impact statement telling the man who tormented her for more than a decade that "I will live on, but you will die a little every day."

Knight scoffed at Castro for "going to church every Sunday and coming home to torture us."

Berry and DeJesus did not appear in court but had statements read in court for them.

As one woman finished her statement she turned to Castro and said in Spanish, "May God have mercy on your soul."

Castro, manacled at the hands and feet, stared emotionless ahead during the statements.

During the hearing, detectives told how he captured the three women and subjected them to a decade of torture, which one woman wrote in a diary was like being held as a "prisoner of war."

Prosecutors used a detailed scale model of his house and slides to take the court through his house of horrors, including hidden rooms, chains, motorcycle helmets for his victims and a gun he would use to threaten them.

Knight, 32, the first of the three women to be kidnapped, was in a store asking for directions when she was approached by Castro who offered to give her a ride, said Detective Andy Harasimchuk.

Knight told detectives she accepted the ride because she knew Castro's daughter. Castro then drove her to his house and invited her to come inside to pick out a puppy for her son, at which point Harasimchuk said Knight was restrained with an extension cord, dragged to the basement where she was restrained with chains, had a motorcycle helmet jammed on her head and raped for the first of many times.

Eight months later, on April 21, 2003, Castro targeted Amanda Berry by offering her a ride home from her job at Burger King. Berry knew Castro's son and daughter, and Castro took her to his house so she could talk to his daughter, Harasimchuk said.

She was quickly bound with duct tape, put in a motorcycle helmet and chained to a pole in the basement.

Castro's third victim, Gina DeJesus, now 23, was friends with his daughter. On one occasion in 2004, she got into Castro's car and he asked her to come in the house to help him carry a speaker to his car, Harasimchuk said. She became uncomfortable and tried to flee in the dark house, she inadvertently ran into a closet and was captured, the detective said.

The home was wired with alarm clocks "in a makeshift manner" to create an alarm system to the house, Harasimchuk said.

The women were kept in two rooms behind a door that could be secured from the outside with a lock, with a circular hole cut towards the bottom of the door that was a source of ventilation, the agent said. The windows were boarded up with very heavy closet doors, he said.

Berry shared one room with her now 6-year-old daughter, who Castro fathered while in captivity. DeJesus and Knight shared an attached, smaller room where a chain was also kept to restrain the women.

According to a sentencing memorandum released Wednesday, the women were restrained by chains attached to their ankles with access only to plastic toilets in the bedrooms that were rarely emptied. Castro fed the women one meal a day and used the "cold of the basement" and the "heat of the attic" as punishment techniques, according to the memo.

The women kept diaries during their incarceration.

"The entries speak of forced sexual conduct, of being locked in a dark room, of anticipating the next session of abuse, of the dreams of someday escaping and being reunited with family, of being chained to a wall, of being held like a prisoner of war," the memorandum says.

Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping, rape, assault and aggravated murder that will send him to prison for life for abducting the three women and keeping them as sex slaves for more than a decade in his Cleveland home.

The prosecution released the memo in an attempt to persuade the judge to give Castro the sentence that the former bus driver has agreed to accept.

The plea deal spared Castro the death penalty because he was accused of the aggravated murder of a fetus after forcibly causing an abortion in one of his victims who he is accused of impregnating. The deal will also spare the three women from having to testify at a trial.

Castro allegedly told the women that he had previous victims and that "some of them made it home, but others had not." The former bus driver once kept the three women locked in a vehicle for three days while he had a visitor at his home.

The victims were discovered in Castro's home in May.

The documents also addressed Berry's 6-year-old daughter, saying her time in captivity started the day she was born Dec. 25, 2006.

Cleveland police Wednesday also posted a picture on Facebook of a handwritten note by Knight, thanking the authorities for collecting gift and cards from well-wishers.

"Life is tough, but I'm tougher! Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly," Knight wrote.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Teen Allegedly Killed by Kidnapper Seeking to Be a Hero

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BANGOR, Maine) -- A man's bizarre plot to be a hero by kidnapping and then "rescuing" a teenage girl who had rebuffed his advances resulted in her death, according to an indictment charging him with murder.

Kyle Dube, 20, of Bangor, Maine, was arrested for the murder of Nichole Cable, 15, after he lured her from her home while pretending to be one of her Facebook friends promising her marijuana, the indictment states. The indictment was unsealed on Wednesday.

According to police, Dube waited in the nearby woods wearing a ski mask on May 12 as Cable walked to the end of her driveway to meet Bryan Butterfield, a friend of hers who she'd been speaking with online. Dube allegedly jumped from the bushes, duct taped Cable and threw her in his dad's pick-up truck.

When Dube removed Cable from the truck, she was dead, his brother Dustin Dube told police, the indictment claims.

"Kyle intended to kidnap Nichole and hide her … he would later find her and be the hero," Dustin Dube told police, the court document states.

Kyle Dube had set up a phony Facebook profile for Butterfield, a man who Cable knew. Posing as Butterfield, Dube repeatedly requested to meet with Cable. On the night she vanished, Cable sent a text message to a friend saying that she had planned to meet Butterfield.

When interviewed by police the day after Cable disappeared, the real Bryan Butterfield said that he suspected Dube, who he said wanted to have sex with Cable, but had been rebuffed by Cable.

While searching for Cable, investigators logged into her Facebook account and noticed frequent communications between her and the fake Butterfield account. Detectives made an emergency request to Facebook to produce records to identify the owner of the fake account and the IP address linked to an account that belonged to Dube's parents, according to authorities.

Facebook also provided the last four digits of the smart phone used to log into the fake Facebook account, and they matched the last four digits of Dube's phone number, the indictment states.

During an interview with police, Dube stated that he had a relationship with Cable, and had exchanged text messages with her the day she disappeared, but was at work in Bangor when she vanished. He consented to a DNA sample, which later proved to match DNA on a sock found in a wooded area where police were searching for Cable, police said. Cable's DNA was also found on the sock.

On May 20, Sarah Mesinger, Dube's girlfriend, told police that he had detailed to her where he left Cable's body in a clearing, covered with branches and that he had thrown her clothes out of the truck's window, according to court papers.

Police deployed aircraft and dogs in the search for Cable's body, while hundreds of civilian volunteers had spent days searching. Her body was found on the night of May 20.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Colorado Girl, 9, Escapes from Alleged Kidnapper, Police Arrest Suspect After Manhunt

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) -- A quick-thinking, 9-year-old girl managed to escape from her alleged kidnapper Friday, and Colorado police nabbed the suspected abductor after a manhunt.

Calysta Cordova was reported missing Thursday afternoon by her mother when she didn't come home from school. Authorities believed she was abducted on her walk home and issued an Amber Alert.

Calysta was found safe Friday at the Circle K convenience store in Colorado Springs, according to ABC News' Denver affiliate KMGH. Colorado Springs police spokeswoman Barbara Miller told KMGH that authorities believe Calysta was in a car with 29-year-old suspect Jose Garcia when the car broke down early Friday morning.

A passerby picked them up and drove them to the Circle K convenience store, police said. There, Calysta ran into the store and asked for a phone, saying she wanted to call her uncle. Instead, she called 911.

"She had two black eyes, bruises on her cheek," witness Efrin Villapondo told KMGH. "She was in bad shape. The bruise on her face was enormous."

When Garcia entered the store, Calysta defiantly refused to go anywhere with him, yelling, "I'm not going anywhere with you. I'm waiting for my mom," according to police

Before police could arrive, Garcia took off on foot. Calysta was transported to Memorial Hospital to be treated for her injuries.

"I don't know if you say a young child like that is OK during an experience like this but they are working with her right now," Miller said.

Garcia was found at a bus stop in downtown Colorado Springs, about 7.5 miles south of the convenience store where they had been dropped off.

KMGH was on-scene when Calysta's mother Stephanie Cordova discovered her daughter had been found safe. As the family shrieked and cried with joy, Cordova took a moment to thank all the family's supporters.

"Thank God. Thank you for everybody who watched, who kept an eye out for my daughter and brought her home," Cordova said, crying. "Thank you for your kindness, for putting yourselves in our shoes and bringing my daughter home."

Copyright 2012 ABC News


Former Hostages Sued by Kidnapper

Comstock/Thinkstock(TOPEKA, Kan.) -- A convicted kidnapper who is serving an 11-year sentence claimed in a lawsuit that the couple he took hostage breached an oral agreement in which they had agreed to hide him from police for an unspecified amount of money.

Jesse Dimmick invaded the Topeka, Kan., home of Jared and Lindsay Rowley in September 2009 after he crashed a stolen van in their yard while being chased by police, who were seeking to question him in a Colorado motel beating death.

“I, the defendant, asked the Rowleys to hide me because I feared for my life. I offered the Rowleys an unspecified amount of money which they agreed upon, therefore forging a legally binding oral contract,” Dimmick said in court documents, which he wrote by hand, according to ABC’s Denver affiliate.

Demmick is seeking $235,000 for the alleged breach of oral contract -- $160,000 for his hospital bills after he was shot in the back and an additional $75,000 for emotional stress.

The Rowleys, who were told by Dimmick that he had a knife and gun, were able to escape by feeding him Cheetos, watching the movie Patch Adams with him, and ultimately getting him to doze off, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

They filed suit against their kidnapper last September, seeking $75,000 for emotional stress, and recently filed a motion to have his lawsuit dismissed.

Both suits are still pending, according to the newspaper.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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