Castro brothers break silence on Cleveland case

Dylan Stableford
The Lookout

Ariel Castro's brothers say they were as shocked as everyone else to learn of his alleged crimes, and they have no sympathy for the man they now call a monster.

Pedro Castro and Onil Castro gave CNN an exclusive interview about their 52-year-old brother, who is accused of kidnapping three women—Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus—holding them captive in his west Cleveland home and raping them repeatedly over a decade. Berry's 6-year-old daughter, who police say was fathered by Ariel Castro, was also rescued from the home.

The women had several miscarriages during their captivity, police said.

"I don't know how my brother got away with it for so many years," Pedro Castro, 54, told CNN's Martin Savidge. "If I knew, I would have reported it—brother or no brother.”

Pedro said he didn't go to Ariel's house very much, "but when I did, he would let me in not past the kitchen." He found it a little unusual, but said he accepted it because Ariel was "a strange dude."

Inside the house, Pedro said, "the radio was playing all of the time. If not the radio, the TV. Something had to be on at all time in the kitchen. So I couldn't hear nothing else but the radio or the TV."

All three brothers were arrested last week. Pedro and Onil were cleared by investigators and released.

The two, who did not live with Ariel, were arrested because they were with him, police said. "It was an investigative stop," Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba said at a press conference Thursday. "You can only imagine the chaos. We had enough probable cause to bring them into custody."

Ariel was charged Thursday with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. He's being held on an $8 million bond.

“I hope he rots in that jail," Onil said.

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The brothers both described Ariel as a loner.

"He always stayed to himself with his music," Onil Castro, 50, said. "And like I said, there would be times when we wouldn't see him for a month, two weeks. Mama used to say 'Check your brother, check on your brother. He lives alone in that house. He's a loner. You don't know if he's OK or what's going on.' So I would text him and he would text me back. 'What are you doing?' 'I'm fine.'"

Onil was a passenger in Ariel Castro's car when police pulled them over Monday. "I said, 'What did you do, run a stop sign or a red light or something?'" Onil said. "[Ariel] says, 'No, no. I don't know.'"

The men were held in separate cells in a Cleveland jail. Onil said he saw Ariel once when his brother was allowed to use a restroom. "When he walked past me, he goes, 'Onil, you're never going to see me again. I love you bro.' And that was it," Onil said. "And he put his fist up for a bump."

Pedro and Onil said they didn't know what they were being held for until questioned by investigators. Onil described his interrogation:

He says "Have you ever seen this girl?" and I said, "No, I've never seen that girl." And then he showed me the other one. "Have you ever seen this girl?" and I said, "No, I've never seen that girl." And he says, "That's Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry," and my heart fell. I just dropped, not physically, but I just, I just hit the ground. I told him, "They don't look like the girls who have been pinned up and posted up," and he said, "Yeah, that's how malnourished they are."

Onil added: "This has torn my heart apart. This has killed me. I am a walking corpse right now."

Despite their release, the pair have gone into hiding because they say they have received death threats.

"I don't want to be hunted down like a dog for a crime that I did not commit," Pedro Castro said. "I don't want to be locked up in my house because somebody out there is going to do harm to me. I want to be free like I was."

He added: "You already got your monster. Please give us our freedom. I want the world to know this."