As America comes to terms with the nightmare of Cleveland’s kidnapped girls, people across the country are demanding to know how three young women could be held captive in a suburb, undetected for a decade.
“I feel a little heavy hearted that a lot more wasn’t known about what was going on in this neighbourhood. It’s a surreal thing to think about,” says one local resident. For ten years the west side of the city was haunted by the unsolved disappearance of teenage girls Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. Held captive and made sexual slaves by an unassuming school bus driver by the name of Ariel Castro, they are alleged to have been tied up with ropes and chains, raped and forced to abort pregnancies. Many neighbours are still trying to come to terms with the house of horror revealed in their midst. “He was a good man. We knew him for a long time”, says Jovita Marti, a local resident. Meanwhile, finally reunited with their families but fenced in by media and a watchful public, what hope is there that the girls will ever be able to return to normal life?