The brothers of Ohio kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro have spoken to CNN in an exclusive interview saying that they knew nothing of the horrific crimes that were committed by their brother.
Onil and Pedro Castro spoke out in an interview last night, saying they didn't know why they were initially arrested with their brother on May 6. The brothers have since been released due to lack of evidence and have not been charged in connection to the kidnappings.
Three women – Amanda Berry, Gine DeJesus, and Michelle Knight – have been freed last week after being held captive by Castro for about ten years.
Onil was with his brother Ariel when he was arrested for the kidnapping. He said that he thought he was being pulled over for running a red light. Meanwhile, Pedro was sleeping in his home when he was woken up by police. He thought he was being arrested for an outstanding open container warrant.
Only when Onil and Pedro arrived at the police station did they find out the crimes committed by their brother and now do not consider him to be their kin.
Pedro told CNN that when he asked a police officer what he was charged for, the officer wrote 'kidnapping' on a piece of paper. Since Pedro did not have reading glasses, he thought it said 'open containers'. However, the officer told him to read it again and when he saw closely, he said "Oh! Kidnapping! What's this? Kidnapping? I'm thinking kidnapping. Who did I kidnap?"
Pedro then said that Onil told him: "Onil, I'm sorry. You didn't know nothing about this, Onil. I'm sorry, Onil." And that was it. And then that's when I broke down on my way over there. I said, "What did my brother do? What did he do?"' He said that his brother to him "you're never going to see me again" and said "I love you bro."
The brothers spoke of the shock of their 'monster' brother and said they felt the worst when they realized that Ariel took Gina DeJesus. They are friends with her father, Felix DeJesus.
He told CNN: "I knew him for a long time and when I found out that Arial had Gina, I just broke down its just shocking. Ariel, we know this guy for a long time and you got his daughter and you go round like nothing, you even went to the vigils, you had posters, you give his mama a hug and you got his daughters captive?'
Pedro also said he saw Jocelyn, the 6-year-old daughter that Ariel fathered with victim Amanda Berry. He said Ariel explained that the child was his girlfriend's. "I seen Ariel with a little girl at McDonald's and I asked him who's that and he said "This is a girlfriend's of mine,"'
The brothers recalled how they would always stay in Ariel's kitchen area when they visited his home and did not go into any other rooms as he had curtains blocking the other rooms. "The reason why we would go in the kitchen, because he had alcohol. And he would take me in the kitchen, give me a shot,' Pedro told CNN.
Pedro also explained that there would always be some sort of background noise on, such as a TV or radio and that his brother always opted to eat on the steps instead of indoors.
Onil told CNN reporter Martin Savidge that before their brother was arrested, he was a very liked person. "'The people out there who know me, they know that Onil Castro is not that person, has nothing to do with that - would never even think of something like that. I was a very liked person [before the arrest], never had any enemies. [There is] no reason for anybody to think that I would ever do something like that. It was a shock to all my friends. They couldn't believe it."
Pedro told Savidge his disbelief that his brothers would commit such a crime behind closed doors. "I couldn't never think of doing anything like that. If I knew that my brother was doing this, in a minute I would have called the cops; cause that ain't right. But yeah, it's going to haunt me down. Cause people are going to think Pedro had something to do with this and pedro don't have anything to do this….If I knew, I would have reported it, brother or no brother."
Berry made her dramatic escape from her captor's house on May 6 after screaming and shouting for help through a small gap on the front door. Her screams were heard by a neighbor, who helped her out.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michele Knight and Jocelyn were all rescued from the house and taken to hospital. They have since been released from hospital and reunited with their families. Meanwhile, reports say that Knight has gone home with DeJesus and is shunning her family for not looking for her.
Knight, 32, has been held captive by Ariel Castro for the longest time among the three victims - a total of 11 years. She is reportedly in good condition but has not yet met any of her family members.
Deborah Knight, the victim's grandmother, told news agencies last week that she has not yet seen her granddaughter. "No, we haven't – on her request. She does not want to be seen by family," she said, according to Reuters.
Knight had required additional medical care as she was found with facial injuries and had suffered at least five miscarriages while in captivity. She was reportedly starved and punched in her stomach whenever she fell pregnant by Castro.
Castro, 52, was charged with four counts of kidnapping on May 8. He has also been charged with raping the three women he kidnapped and held captive for around 10 years.
Knight was a single mother at the age of 20 when she was abducted by Castro. Because she was over the legal age of an adult, many dismissed her case as a runaway case. She had vanished after losing a custody battle with child welfare authorities over her son, who was three at the time. Some of her family members thought she had run off after losing custody of her child.
See below for Onil and Pedro Castro's full interview video with CNN.