DNA Confirms Ariel Castro is the Father of Amanda Berry’s 6-Year-old Daughter
CLEVELAND (AP) – Tests have confirmed that alleged kidnapper Ariel Castro is the father of a 6-year-old girl who was rescued from his house with three women this week, the state’s top prosecutor said Friday.
Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office confirmed Castro’s paternity in a news release. He said that a sample of Castro’s DNA was taken Thursday and forensic scientists worked through the night on the case.
The girl is the daughter of Amanda Berry, who authorities said was held for about a decade in Castro’s house in Cleveland along with Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight. Castro is being held on $8 million bond.
The development in the case comes a day after prosecutors said they may seek the death penalty against Castro: Police allege he impregnated one of his captives at least five times and made her miscarry by starving her and punching her in the belly. The allegations contained in a police report also said another one of the women, Amanda Berry, was forced to give birth in a plastic kiddie pool.
Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said his office will decide whether to bring aggravated murder charges punishable by death in connection with the pregnancies that were terminated by force.
“Capital punishment must be reserved for those crimes that are truly the worst examples of human conduct,” he said. “The reality is we still have brutal criminals in our midst who have no respect for the rule of law or human life.”
Castro, a 52-year-old former school bus driver, is being held under a suicide watch in jail, where he is charged with rape and kidnapping.
A sample of Castro’s DNA was delivered to state crime investigators Thursday afternoon and scientists rushed to process it and enter it into a national database to see if it links him to other crimes, Lisa Peterson Hackley, spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, confirmed in an email Friday.
McGinty said Castro will be charged for every act of sexual violence, assault and other crimes committed against the women, suggesting the counts could number in the hundreds, if not thousands.
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