In what now appears to be a chilling premonition, Ariel Castro posted a message on Facebook about “real women” and how they should handle the breakdown of a relationship when a child is involved. [embedgallery id=147870]
Castro, who is charged with rape and kidnapping in a shocking case of captivity in Cleveland, appears to have joined Facebook on Feb. 18 of this year — less than three months before his name would make worldwide headlines as the accused abductor of three missing women.
Most of the 52-year-old’s Facebook posts were about family, religion and friends. On April 22, he shared what now seems to foreshadow trouble at home. A posted photo reads, “A real woman will not use their child as a weapon to hurt the father when the relationship breaks down. Do not lose site [sic] of the fact that it is the child that suffers. Share or like if you agree.”
Castro shared the photo with his own comment, “True that.” He reportedly impregnated one of the women, Amanda Berry, while she was in captivity. She gave birth in the basement of his Cleveland home to a daughter, now 6 years old. Another woman Castro allegedly abducted, Michelle Knight, helped deliver Berry’s baby in a kiddie pool under threats from Castro that if the baby died, he would kill her, according to details of the investigation.
Also revealed in the investigation: One of women he kept captive got pregnant as many as five times, but Castro forced her to miscarry by starving her and punching her in the stomach.
Castro, who was born in Puerto Rico, seems upbeat in his other Facebook posts, sharing news of the birth of his fifth grandchild, his excitement for the spring season and praise for God. In his last post before his arrest, he wrote, “miracles really do happen, God is good :)” on May 2, just four days before the three missing women — Berry, Knight and Gina DeJesus — would be set free from the house where they were confined for more than a decade.
Castro, a former school bus driver, was arrested in 1993 after a domestic violence complaint. He was not indicted on those charges. His ex-wife again filed a complaint of physical violence in 2005, saying he had broken her nose and causes a blood clot in her brain, but that case was dismissed. He was confronted by police in 2000 for having an improperly displayed license plate and no valid motorcycle license. The Cleveland police officer let Castro go with a warning.
Castro’s brothers, Onil, 50, and Pedro, 54, were taken into custody on Monday but were not charged after police determined there was no evidence they were involved in the kidnappings or rapes. One of Castro’s children, Emily Castro, is currently serving a prison sentence for attempting to kill her baby, by slashing the infant’s throat.
On his Facebook page, Castro lists his employment in the musical band Grupo Fuego, for which he played bass. He attended Lincoln-West High School in Cleveland. Neighbors who knew Castro described his as a normal man who socialized in the neighborhood, including attending a candlelight vigil held by Gina DeJesus’ family last year to mark nine years since her disappearance.
“He came to a vigil and acted as if nothing was wrong,” Anthony Quiros, 24, who grew up next door to Castro’s house, told Reuters.
Follow Cassandra Garrison on Twitter: @CassieAtMetro