Was There a 4th Woman in Home?
Chilling detail emerges in Cleveland kidnapping case
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2013 9:39 AM CDT
A missing poster still rests on a tree outside the home of Amanda Berry Wednesday, May 8, 2013, in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(Newser) – A chilling possibility in the Cleveland kidnapping case: Fox 8 spoke to law enforcement sources, and one of them says Michelle Knight told police that there was a fourth woman in Ariel Castro's house when she was first taken there, but that the woman vanished one day. Written on a basement wall is a female name and the words, "Rest in Peace," but police don't know if that's related to the case yet. However, Cleveland's safety director announced this morning that no human remains have been found at Castro's home after a thorough search, NewsNet 5 reports.

Meanwhile, the parents of another teen who went missing from the same neighborhood in 2007 are still hoping there's a connection between the cases. "At first, when they said the third girl wasn't identified, I was hoping one would be Ashley," Ashley Summers' aunt tells CNN. It wasn't, but "we're hoping for a miracle," the aunt says. Investigators are planning to ask Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus if they know anything about Summers. Other developments:

  • The police chief has confirmed that chains and ropes were found in the Castro house, and says the three women were "bound" and "very rarely" allowed in the backyard for short amounts of time, USA Today reports.
  • The 911 dispatcher who received Berry's call has been criticized for how she handled the call, the Daily Beast reports: She said the police would be sent over not immediately but "as soon as we get a car open," and failed to stay on the line with Berry until the police arrived. Now Fox 8 reports that her actions are under review, though Cleveland's public safety director noted that she did get police to the scene in less than two minutes.

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May 8, 2013 10:05 AM CDT
It was not sterling police work in Cleveland. The city is suffering from the Obama malady...no employment or very low employment. We need to get the people back to work to eliminate the suffering. The 911 operator is quite typical...we'll get there when we can. It was the police who rushed to the scene in two minutes. Maybe they collectively do not get high marks in this case, but I am sure that there are individuals who are dedicated and quick to respond. There is a lot of crime in this impoverished city, but there are many good people, too.
May 8, 2013 9:49 AM CDT
"However, Cleveland's safety director announced this morning that no human remains have been found at Castro's home after a thorough search" Yeaaaaah- from the bang-up job the police have done thus far, I would assume a thorough search means glancing in though the door "Nope, nuthin' here". I believe there needs to be outside agencies brought in here to at the very least oversee this investigation