How Police Busted Castro's Neighbor in 1990s Murders

Elias Acevedo confessed to 2 murders

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 21, 2013 9:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – The capture of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro ultimately led police to clues in two more 1990s cold cases, and Castro's neighbor was charged last week with two murders and three rapes, Reuters reports. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has the crazy story: After Castro's arrest and the rescue of his three victims, police began looking back into other local disappearances from around the same time. Elias Acevedo Sr., 49, first came to their attention after neighbors revealed he was a convicted sex offender and had not reported his current address; he was arrested in June. Meanwhile, the DNA Cold Case Task Force matched his DNA profile to a 1993 rape. His brother's common-law wife was the victim; she had told police Acevedo raped her but ultimately decided not to press charges.

But with the new focus on Acevedo, she gave the Bureau of Criminal Investigation information to help build a profile, and authorities started to suspect he could be capable of murder. They first looked into the 1995 disappearance of pregnant 18-year-old Christina Adkins, and continued to gather information: They interviewed people who knew Acevedo and searched the home he lived in in the 1990s, finally deciding to confront Acevedo earlier this month. He ultimately confessed, as part of a deal to avoid the death penalty, to Adkins' murder as well as the rape and murder of Pamela Pemberton in 1994. He led investigators to the manhole where he says he dumped Adkins, and human remains and Adkins' ID card were found. Acevedo has also been charged with the rapes of several children.

A 10-foot chain link fence surrounds the home of Ariel Castro in Cleveland in this May 14, 2013 file photo.
A 10-foot chain link fence surrounds the home of Ariel Castro in Cleveland in this May 14, 2013 file photo.   (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)
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