Why Were Neighbors’ Reports Ignored In The Case Of The Missing Cleveland Women?

Kidnapped_Amanda_Berry_Gina_DeJesus_Cleveland

When the news broke of the missing Cleveland women finally being found after they were held in captivity for a decade it was reported that the police had only been called to the home twice over some minor things, and that nothing seemed amiss at the house. But that’s not what all of the neighbors are saying. Some of them saw and reported some very disturbing things.

Elsie Cintron, who lives three houses away, said her daughter once saw a naked woman crawling on her hands and knees in the backyard several years ago and called police. “But they didn’t take it seriously,” she said.

Another neighbor, Israel Lugo, said he heard pounding on some of the doors of Castro’s house, which had plastic bags on the windows, in November 2011. Lugo said officers knocked on the front door, but no one answered. “They walked to the side of the house and then left,” he said.

Neighbors also said they would sometimes see Ariel Castro walking a little girl to a neighborhood playground. And Cintron said she once saw a little girl looking out of the house’s attic window.

Israel Lugo said he, his family and neighbors called police three times between 2011 and 2012 after seeing disturbing things at the home of Ariel Castro. Lugo lives two houses down from Castro and grew suspicious after neighbors reported seeing naked women on leashes crawling on all fours behind Castro’s house. (Read More)

Could the horror these women endured have ended a year and a half sooner if someone took these complaints seriously? I guess we’ll never know. But why wouldn’t the police have shown more interest in these reports?

So there were reasons to be suspicious and neighbors did complain to police as early as 2011, but for some reason these reports didn’t lead to serious investigation . . . why? Maybe because it’s a low-income neighborhood where police get all kinds of calls, and “somebody pounding on doors” doesn’t necessarily sound like anything really serious.

I hope that’s not the reason, but I can’t come up with anything that’s more plausible. Sad.

Update: There may be another victim – Ashley Summers.