The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 10, 2013

DNA shows Ohio kidnapping suspect fathered girl

— CLEVELAND (AP) — A DNA test confirmed another dark twist in the story of three women imprisoned in a house for about a decade: Kidnapping and rape suspect Ariel Castro is the father of a 6-year-old girl who escaped from the house along with the women, a prosecutor said Friday.

As the investigation into the women's ordeal continued, the FBI also said no human remains were among more than 200 pieces of evidence collected from the house.

Two of the women returned to relatives' houses earlier this week. The third woman, Michelle Knight, was released from a hospital Friday with a request that her privacy be respected.

"Michelle Knight is in good spirits and would like the community to know that she is extremely grateful for the outpouring of flowers and gifts," the statement said.

No information would be provided about Knight's next steps, said MetroHealth Medical Center spokeswoman Phyllis Marino.

The man accused of holding the women captive, Ariel Castro, remained in jail under a suicide watch on $8 million bond while prosecutors weighed what charges they might bring against him, including the possibility of charges carrying a death penalty. He currently is charged with rape and kidnapping.

Castro was represented at Thursday's hearing by public defender Kathleen Demetz, who said she is acting as Castro's adviser if needed until he's appointed a full-time attorney once he's charged by a grand jury. She said Friday she can't speak to his guilt or innocence and said only that she advised him not to give any media interviews that might jeopardize his case.

Family members have portrayed Castro as a "monster" who terrorized the mother of his children, frequently beating her, playing twisted psychological games and locking her indoors.

The stories, repeated in separate interviews by different 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.

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