Friday, January 19, 2018
News Roundup

Each kidnapping in Cleveland case began with an offer of a ride home

CLEVELAND — New details continued to emerge Thursday about the kidnappings, including how the three women were abducted.

In each case, the women accepted Ariel Castro's offer of a ride home while they were walking down the street, according to a police report that included the first statements the women gave after their rescue. The report had a chilling detail: Castro's daughter was a close friend of one of the victims.

Amanda Berry was 17 when she was abducted as she left her job at a Burger King. Castro gained her trust by telling her that his son worked for the fast-food chain and offered her a ride home, according to the police report, which was obtained by the New York Times.

DeJesus, who was only 14 when she disappeared, was friends with Castro's daughter Arlene Castro. Ariel Castro approached her with his daughter on April 2, 2004, according to the account DeJesus gave police. Shortly after, "Ariel came back without his daughter, and told Gina he would give her a ride to his house to meet up with his daughter," the report said.

The accounts by DeJesus and the other women were made immediately after officers freed them from Castro's sealed-up house on Seymour Avenue, as they sat in a police vehicle. Since Castro's arrest, news accounts have focused on the connections between the Castro and DeJesus families, including reports that Castro attended a vigil for the missing girl.

But in a description of DeJesus' disappearance that Arlene Castro gave a year later in 2005, she apparently did not mention that her father spoke with DeJesus that day while she was present.

In an interview with the television show America's Most Wanted, Arlene Castro told of walking from school with her friend Gina. The two girls planned to spend the afternoon at DeJesus' home. Arlene Castro said she borrowed 50 cents from her friend to call and ask for permission from her mother, who did not live with her father. "Mom said no, that I can't go over to her house," she said in the interview. The girls parted. DeJesus disappeared shortly after.

The different accounts seemed to raise an important question: Did the police task force searching for DeJesus ever hear that Ariel Castro might have been one of the last adults to interact with her before she vanished?

Ed Tomba, the deputy police chief in Cleveland, said at a news conference Wednesday that police had never interviewed Castro before his arrest Monday.

Comments
Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

ST. PETERSBURG — Transportation planners are set to unveil a new transit vision for Tampa Bay leaders on Friday morning: Bus rapid transit.Also known as BRT, it has arisen as the leading option in an ongoing study to find the best regional transit pr...
Updated: 6 hours ago
What you need to know for Friday, Jan. 19

What you need to know for Friday, Jan. 19

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• Thankfully, the cold snap is over. Today’s temperature will rise into the 60s, according to 10Weather WTSP. And the weekend will be beautiful: Saturday and Sunday will both b...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

CLEARWATER — Voters may not be too familiar with the name John Funk.So since launching his campaign for City Council Seat 5 against well-known incumbent Hoyt Hamilton, Funk said he has knocked on 2,000 doors to introduce himself. Before the March 13 ...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

CLEARWATER — By asking voters to elect him into office a fifth time, Hoyt Hamilton knows he’s now considered part of the old-guard. Born and raised in Clearwater, his family roots stretch back here more than 100 years. Hamilton, 59, spent nearly his ...
Published: 01/19/18
Lightning falls to Golden Knights

Lightning falls to Golden Knights

TAMPA — The door to the Lightning dressing room remained closed a little longer than usual Thursday night, and that wasn’t surprising.After the kind of performance displayed in its 4-1 loss to the expansion Golden Knights, this had players-only meeti...
Updated: 5 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 18

Thursday’s scoreboardGirls basketballNortheast 64, Largo 24Boys soccerIndian Rocks Chr. 3, Berkeley Prep 2Palm Harbor U. 7, Tarpon Springs 0Girls soccerCountryside 5, Pinellas Park 0Palm Harbor U. 5, Tarpon Springs 1...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Police presence at Martin Luther King Jr. Day after-party raises ire

Police presence at Martin Luther King Jr. Day after-party raises ire

ST. PETERSBURG — One after another, speakers stepped to the lectern at City Hall on Thursday and described the same image: police cruisers on every corner in Midtown, uniformed officers lined up across the roadway, souring what should have been a joy...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tampa Bay record lows burst pipes, threaten berry and fish farms

Tampa Bay record lows burst pipes, threaten berry and fish farms

In winters past, when they ran the irrigation system at Parkesdale Farms to preserve the berry crop in a protective shell of ice, the icicles measured inches.But on Wednesday night, one of the coldest nights in years, the icicles hung more than a foo...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Will the third time be the charm for these Tampa Bay townhouses?

Will the third time be the charm for these Tampa Bay townhouses?

ST. PETERSBURG — In real estate circles, it would seem an odd match — 54 townhouses in an office park and a group of Realtors best known for selling luxury single-family homes in Snell Isle. Yet the Strickland Property Group is convinced it can do wh...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Crystal Lagoon planners cut the ribbon on a chilly day (w/video)

Crystal Lagoon planners cut the ribbon on a chilly day (w/video)

WESLEY CHAPEL — Mother Nature seems to have a way of putting a chill on one of the hottest amenities in residential real estate development.Members of the business community, elected officials and executives with Metro Development Group and Crystal L...
Updated: 10 hours ago