DNA test shows Ohio kidnap suspect fathered girl
CLEVELAND – As relatives of the Cleveland kidnapping and rape suspect recounted claims of his unnerving paranoia and violent outbursts, DNA testing confirmed the man accused of holding three women captive for nearly a decade is the father of a 6-year-old girl who also escaped from the house.
Ariel Castro, charged with rape and kidnapping, remained jailed Friday under a suicide watch on $8 million bond while prosecutors weighed more charges, including some that might carry the death penalty.
Public defender Kathleen Demetz, who said she is acting as Castro’s adviser while he awaits a full-time attorney, said Friday she can’t speak to his guilt or innocence and said only that she advised him not to talk to reporters.
But those who know the 52-year-old Castro are speaking up, saying he was often angry, paranoid and prone to violent outbursts against the now-dead mother of his adult children. He frequently beat her, played bizarre psychological games and locked her indoors, they said.
The stories, repeated in separate interviews with The Associated Press by members of Castro’s extended family, have surprised people who knew him as a musician who played bass in several bands around Cleveland the last two decades.
Miguel Quinones, manager of a group Castro played with twice as a backup bass player about five years ago, said he had nothing bad to say about Castro based on his own experiences.
But in the interviews, some of Castro’s ex-relatives said he frequently flashed his compulsions for secrecy and terrifying rage that often led him to beat his common-law wife, Grimilda Figueroa.
Figueroa left Castro years ago and died in 2012 after a long illness.
Their early years together were happy, but something inside Castro snapped after the birth of their first child, they said.