Thursday, August 21, 2014
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Updates on Cleveland missing women: Only one of three brothers charged, chains and ropes found in home

Beth and Amanda Berry
Beth and Amanda Berry
Story Highlights
  • Cleveland will investigate a dispatcher's handling of Amanda Berry’s 911 call.
  • Charges are expected to be filed this afternoon against Ariel Castro and his brothers.
  • Berry returned to her sister's home Wednesday morning.
Beth and Amanda Berry Gallery: Updates on Cleveland missing women: Only one of three brothers charged, chains and ropes found in home
RAW: Amanda Berry's sister speaks, media swarms Video: RAW: Amanda Berry's sister speaks, media swarms

7:40 p.m. Update: Brother charged with rape, kidnapping

Only one of three brothers initially taken into custody for allegedly holding three women captive for about a decade in Cleveland is being charged with rape and kidnapping, law enforcement in Ohio said this afternoon at a press conference.

Ariel Castro, 52, is charged with three counts of rape and three counts of kidnapping for the disappearances of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight in 2002 and 2003. They were found Monday after Berry emerged from Castro's home screaming for help.

Prosecutors brought no charges against Castro's two brothers, who were arrested along with him on Monday, saying there was no evidence they had any part in the crime.

More coverage
  • Amanda Berry returns home
  • Charles Ramsey gets his 15 minutes with colorful interview
  • 9 Philly kids missing more than a decade
  • LISTEN: Berry's 911 call
  • Castro owns the run-down home where the women were rescued on Monday, after one of them broke through a screen door to freedom while Castro was away. The discovery electrified Cleveland, where many people had come to believe the missing young women were dead.

    Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba said it was the only opportunity they ever had to escape. "Something must have clicked and she saw an opportunity and she took that opportunity," he said.

    Tomba said the women could remember being outside only twice during their entire time in captivity. "We were told they left the house and went into the garage in disguise," he said.

    Earlier:

    Dispatcher who took initial 9-1-1 call to be investigated

    Cleveland will investigate a dispatcher's handling of the 911 call Amanda Berry made after she had been held captive for 10 years.

    The dispatcher who answered Berry's call has been criticized for not keeping the frantic woman on the phone until police arrived and for not taking the call seriously.

    "While the call-taker complied with policies and procedures which enabled a very fast response by police, we have noted some concerns which will be the focus of our review, including the call-taker’s failure to remain on the line with Ms. Berry until police arrived on the scene," Cleveland Public Safety Director Martin Flask said in a statement. "Please be assured that this matter will be investigated, and if necessary, appropriate corrective action taken."

    Three men are in custody in the disappearances of Berry, DeJesus and Knight, who had all been held captive for about a decade until Berry escaped Monday and called for help.

    Some emergency-response professionals have criticized the call-taker's response.

    "One of the things that jumped out was that after the dispatch took the information, she moved on to the next call. I think that realizing the gravity of the situation, the dispatch might have stayed on the call with that person," Gary Allen, a former dispatcher in Berkeley, Calif., who now runs a website devoted to the EMS dispatching profession, told The Daily Beast. "You generally want to hold the person on the phone and try to make a personal connection until law enforcement can get there."

    Dennis Root, co-founder of Tactical Advantage Solutions, which trains emergency service workers, told NBC News: "This young lady was very clearly upset, significantly affected, and it just seemed prudent to remain on the phone (with her) to obtain as much information as possible."

    Flask's statement noted that the dispatcher's actions resulted in police arriving at the scene in less than two minutes.

    All three young women went missing about 10 years ago. Berry is now 27, Knight is now 32 and DeJesus is now 23. Police have arrested Ariel Castro, the homeowner of the house where they found, and his brothers, Onil and Pedro Castro.

    Chains, ropes removed from home; no human remains found

    Investigators have removed chains and ropes from the house where 52-year-old Ariel Castro and his two brothers allegedly held the women captive for a decade, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

    "We have confirmation that they were bound, and there was chains and ropes in the home," Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said on NBC's TODAY show.

    A forensics unit has completed its search inside the home, he told the Plain Dealer.

    No human remains were found at the home, WEWS reports.

    Amanda Berry returning home

    Berry returned to her sister's home this morning.

    Emily Babay and Brian X. McCrone Philly.com staff
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