Kidnap Victim Asks Not to Be Left Alone on First Night Home with Family
(CLEVELAND) -- On her first night at home in a decade, relatives of freed kidnapping victim Gina DeJesus huddled around her, sleeping on inflatable mattresses in their living room so the young woman would not have to sleep in an upstairs bedroom similar to the one where she spent much of her captivity, her mother told ABC News in an exclusive interview with David Muir.
DeJesus, 23, was reunited with her family Wednesday after nearly 10 years spent as the alleged prisoner of Ariel Castro, a man her mother knew for years.
For years after DeJesus' abduction, Castro, who grew up in the same community as the young woman's mother, Nancy Ruiz, would offer the family his support.
As recently as last year, Castro, 52, asked Ruiz, "How are you doing?" never indicating he was allegedly keeping her daughter a captive in his Cleveland home just miles from where she lived.
Ruiz said DeJesus told her that she and two other women, Amanda Berry, 27, and Michelle Knight, 30, were kept chained in the basement of the home. Later on, they were allowed upstairs and kept in two separate bedrooms for much of the time.
DeJesus and Knight were often kept in one bedroom. Berry and her daughter, 6, whom she gave birth to while in captivity, were held in a second room, Ruiz said.
The young women were warned there was an alarm system and that it would go off if they tried to escape, Ruiz added.
The women were freed on Monday, when Berry screamed for help from behind a locked door, alerting neighbors who helped kick down the door and called police.
Ruiz said Castro would take Berry's daughters on outings to the park and to church, though the women were never permitted to leave the property themselves.
Berry's little girl was never told the real names of the other women in the house because of fears she might reveal those names in public and get Castro in trouble, Ruiz said.
Castro would bring the women food, which they would cook. Sometimes he would bring them McDonald's food.
He bought the young women clothes from a local store, Ruiz said, and DeJesus would use the fabric from the clothes to make new outfits, once changing a skirt into a pair of capri pants.
Castro was arraigned Thursday in an Ohio court on charges of kidnapping and rape. Bond was set at $8 million. He did not enter a plea.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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