Suspect's Daughter Was Childhood Friends With Rescued Woman

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 7 2013 3:39 PM

Suspect's Own Daughter Had Been Childhood "Best Friends" With One of the Missing Girls

Screen shot 2013-05-07 at 3.33.34 PM
Gina DeJesus and Arlene Castro are pictured in this undated photo aired during the program.

Screengrab from America's Most Wanted episodeabout the disappearance of Gina DeJesus.

It's still early, obviously, but today's slow drip, drip, drip of information about the Ohio kidnappings suggest at least two noteworthy connections between the children of the man police have identified as their chief suspect, 52-year-old Ariel Castro, and one of the missing women who was rescued from his Cleveland home last night.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

For starters, we already told you this morning about how Castro's son, Ariel "Anthony" Castro, wrote an article for a local community newspaper about Gina DeJesus' disappearance only months after she went missing in 2004. In the process of his reporting, the younger Castro appears to have interviewed DeJesus' mother.


Now, the Cleveland Plain Dealer—which, as you'd expect, is all over this story—brings us news that one of the suspect's daughters, Arlene Castro, sat down with America's Most Wanted in the months after DeJesus went missing and told the show that she was the last person to see her alive:

Arlene Castro was a friend and classmate of Gina DeJesus at Wilbur Wright Middle School in Cleveland. She told the show—which profiles missing-persons cases to draw attention to them—that she was walking with DeJesus and borrowed 50 cents from the then-14-year-old to call her mother to ask if the two could hang out at Gina's. When her mother said no, Castro said they parted ways.

Here's a clip from the show, which aired in 2005. In it, the voiceover identifies Arlene as Gina's "best friend and classmate." You can see Arlene at about the 45-second mark. For the interview, Arlene is seated in what appears to be a living room, although it remains unclear if that was in her father's house or not. Regardless, the latest revelation suggests that this story will likely get even more disturbing as the details continue to roll out.

DeJesus, now 23, went missing in April 2004 while walking home from her middle school in the same part of the city where one of the other missing girls, Amanda Berry, disappeared one year earlier. Both of the women, along with a third, Michelle Knight, were rescued Monday night from the elder Castro's home in a residential neighborhood not far from where all three had last been seen alive.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***




The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer


Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.


Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The Slate Quiz
Oct. 24 2014 12:10 AM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
Oct. 23 2014 11:47 PM Don’t Just Sit There How to be more productive during your commute.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 24 2014 7:00 AM Gallery: The Partial Solar Eclipse of October 2014
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.