Cleveland abductor said in interrogation he phoned victim’s kin

In videos, Ariel Castro said police missed chances to catch him.
Associated Press/file
In videos, Ariel Castro said police missed chances to catch him.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro, who was found hanged in his prison cell Tuesday night, said in interrogation tapes that he once called the mother of one of his captives and told the woman her daughter was alive and had become his wife.

Castro also told investigators that authorities missed opportunities to catch him while he held the three women captive for about a decade in a run-down house where they were repeatedly beaten and raped.

Castro says in the video — obtained by NBC and first reported Friday on the “Today” show — that he used Amanda Berry’s cellphone to call her mother.


“I think I said something . . . that I have her daughter and that she’s OK, and that she’s my wife now — something like that, you know, probably not the exact words,” he told investigators.

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When asked for the mother’s response, Castro said: “I hung up so we didn’t have a conversation.”

Castro, 53, was a month into his life sentence when he was found dead. A funeral home picked up his body Friday from the Franklin County coroner’s office on behalf of Castro’s family.

In the taped interrogation, Castro also said there were other missed chances when he could have been captured while he held the victims, who were ages 14, 16, and 20 when captured.

Castro said cameras at victim Gina DeJesus’ school should have captured him there 15 minutes before she was abducted.


‘‘You could have broke the case right then and there,’’ he said.

Castro said a girlfriend once noticed a TV on in a room occupied by victim Michelle Knight and that got him worrying that he might be caught.

‘‘Was it a close call?’’ an investigator said.

‘‘Yeah,’’ he said.

A spokeswoman for the city of Cleveland and its police department said Castro’s case records are being reviewed to determine what will be made public under Ohio law.

Associated Press