Nightly News   |  May 07, 2013

Kidnapping suspect had ties to Gina DeJesus

The suspected kidnappers had previously been linked to two of the rescued women: in TV appearances and in an article about DeJesus’ disappearance in 2004. NBC’s Ron Allen reports.

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>>> is known about the suspects and the investigation. why did it take so long to liberate these women from that kind of residential prison? nbc's ron allen continues our reporting from cleveland tonight. good evening.

>> reporter: good evening to you. the brothers are being held here at police headquarters while investigators build their case. they'll likely be charged tomorrow morning with kid naping and rape. the focus seems to be on ariel castro , his house now at the center of the investigation. the three brothers are ariel castro , 52, pedro, 54 and onil, 50. it is ariel who neighbors knew best as a school bus driver who also gave kids rides in an all-terrain vehicle on the streets of this blue collar hispanic neighborhood. the three women, who each disappeared about a year apart, were ast l all last seen within a five-block radius and allegedly held in castro 's house about three miles away . the castro brothers' uncle owns the corner store.

>> they might have been living two different lives.

>> reporter: some neighbors thought the house was vacant. a place that ariel castro checked on from time to time. but a few now say they were concerned.

>> they wouldn't open the windows, no doors, only the attic window.

>> i've had family members that have phoned the police, and they've come and knocked on the door and nothing.

>> reporter: police say they only answered calls twice on the street. once before the women disappeared and in 2004 to question ariel castro about a child mistakenly left behind on his school bus . no charges were filed.

>> people don't seem to understand that these are sociopaths. they're very cunning at it. and they know how to avoid the police. and it's really sadz because it could be your next door neighbor.

>> reporter: it turns out the castros have ties to one of the women rescued. gina dejesus.

>> gina vanished in broad daylight.

>> reporter: arlene castro , ariel 's daughter, appeared in this episode of "america's most wanted" just after dejesus disappeared and said she was the last to see gina alive.

>> my mom said no, that i can't go over her house. and so i told her i couldn't and she said, okay, i'll talk to you later . and she was plucked.

>> reporter: and ariel 's son anthony as a college student wrote an article about dejesus' disappearance in 2004 . and in yet another strange twist, pedro castro , also now in custody, was near the scene of a search for amanda berry's body last year. castro told reporters the search was, quote, a waste of money. we understand that ariel castro is no longer a school bus driver here in cleveland , dismissed from his job back in november. and some neighbors told us that they recently saw him in the neighborhood for first time with a young child out and about, who could just be the child who was rescued late yesterday.

>> ron allen outside cleveland pd headquarters.