Neighbors of Ariel Castro, suspect in the case involving Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight, said they saw naked women crawling on all fours in the backyard of Castro's house with dog leashes around their neck and three men leading them.
USA Today reports that the three young women are now talking to the police about their lives while they lived in captivity. Law enforcement sources are revealing that they endured a decade of physical sexual abuse and beatings in the Cleveland house. The picture emerging from reports is that the women were subjected to bondage (BDSM) rituals by their captors.
According to USA Today, law enforcement sources say the women were held in chains during their captivity.
Khalid Samad, a former assistant safety director for the city, who works with a crime prevention nonprofit group, said he learned from law enforcement officials that the women were kept in a "dungeon of sorts," in chains, and beaten during pregnancy, with the unborn children not surviving.
WKYC-TV also quotes a police source saying the men forced the women to have sex resulting in up to five pregnancies. The sources said the men beat the girls during pregnancy and the unborn babies did not survive.
The three suspects, Ariel, Pedro and O'Neil Castro are now being held at the Central Prison Unit at Cleveland's police headquarters on suspicion of rape and kidnapping.
Neighbors are also reporting that they had reported strange goings-on in the house to the police who failed to respond or did not enter the house.
Israel Lugo, a neighbor who lives two houses from Castro (see video above) said he once heard pounding on doors of the house in November 2011. He said he, his family and neighbors called the police on three separate occasions between 2011 and 2012 after some neighbors said they saw naked women on leashes crawling on all fours in the house.
Cleveland Department of Public Safety
Lugo said he saw Ariel Castro at a nearby park with the girl now identified as Berry's daughter. When he asked Castro who she was, Castro said she was his girlfriend's daughter.
Lugo's sister said she once heard someone pounding on a window in the house. She saw a woman holding a baby standing by a window part of which was covered with a wooden plank.
Lugo's mother also called the police when she observed that Castro brought large quantities of food to the house in the school bus he drove. They wondered why he needed so much food.They claim that police responded on that occasion but did not enter the house.
Cleveland officials, however, say they have no record of being called about criminal activity in the house. This could simply mean that they found no evidence of criminal activity when they visited the house.
According to USA Today, Cuyahoga County Auditor's records show that Castro bought the four-bedroom, two-storey house with a basement for $12,000 on April 29, 1992 from Edwin and Antonia Castro.
Cleveland Department of Public Safety
O'Neil Castro (left); Pedro Castro (right)
Tax records show the house is valued at $36,100, and Castro is owing $2,501.01 in back taxes. He last paid real estate taxes in 2010. Although the house has been listed for foreclosure the county has taken no action.
Digital Journal reports that a neighbor Elsie Cintron, 55, said the backyard of the house was boarded up with wooden sheets so that no one could look inside. She recalled that a few years ago, she saw a young female child looking out of the window of the third floor attic of the house. She thought it was strange, "What was a little girl doing with a man and no adult women in a house like that?"
According to the Daily Mail, Cintron's daughter, Nina Samohylicz, also reported seeing a naked woman crawling on hands and knees.
The Daily Mail reports Samohylicz said the police did not take her seriously when she called them. She said: "We thought it was funny at first, and then we thought that was weird so we called the cops. They thought we was playing, joking, they didn't believe us."
Digital Journal reports police officers visited the house in 2004 as part of a child services investigation after Castro left a boy at a bus depot while working as a school bus driver. Officers knocked on the door but left when no one answered.
Amanda Berry (left); Georgina DeJesus
According to the Daily Mail, questions are being asked how the police failed to find the girls in a house just three miles from where they went missing. Ariel Castro has lived in the house since 1992.
Friends and former schoolmates of the three brothers said Pedro the worst of the lot and a "bad influence" on the others. They described him as an alcoholic who still lives with his mother at 54.
They described O'Neal as a man who drinks too much, who never acknowledges his neighbors and "never smiles."
A former school mate of Pedro, Nestor Roman, 58, said: "Pedro was a straight-A student until he started drinking. He used to help me with my homework, but I was the one who finished my diploma and not him in the end.He guzzled a pint of rum in two shots. He also liked wine and Mad Dog 20/20. He and O'Neil have been boozing it up for years. That’s all they do. Pedro used to be a biker and he was really into his bikes, but now he just drinks. If any of them was going to be a bad influence it would be him. He was into craziness."