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The daughter of the suspected ring leader in the kidnapping case of three Cleveland women was convicted and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in 2008 for trying to murder her then 11-month-old baby, The Daily Mail reports.

Emily Castro, 24, slashed her daughter Janyla’s throat in April 2007 following a breakup with the child’s father.


Court documents state that police were called to Emily’s home in Fort Wayne, Ind. – where she moved after she became pregnant – when a passerby saw a woman running through the street with a bleeding baby in her arms, according to The Daily Mail.

The woman was Emily’s mother, Grimilda Figeroa, who told police that her daughter stabbed and slashed her own child.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that when officers entered the home, they found Emily Castro covered in mud, water and blood. She was bleeding from apparently self-inflicted knife wounds to her neck and wrists. She admitted to police that she had tried to kill her baby and then herself. When the self-stabbings and slashing did not work, she said that she had then tried to drown herself in a nearby creek.

The Mail details that by 2007, Emily Castro had had a long and documented history of mental illness. Still, she was deemed mentally competent enough to stand trial for the attempted murder of her child. Apparently, Emily was not “insane,” as that word and condition are defined according to the state of Indiana’s system of jurisprudence.

According to The Journal Gazette, at trial, her attorneys presented evidence that Emily Castro had suffered from depression for years even before the birth of her daughter. According to her attorneys, her depression spiraled down into extreme paranoia. It was her paranoia which led her to believe that her own family was out to kill her and her baby at the time of the attack.


The Journal Gazette also reported that Emily told the judge that she thought of herself as “a good mom,” and that she did not know or understand how or why her attempts at murder and suicide happened.

Ariel “Anthony” Castro, her brother, read a statement to the judge relative to her ongoing mental illness issues, according to The Mail.

He said: “What happened to Janyla was serious, unthinkable and irreversible. What happened to my sister is no less serious.

“Emily’s mental illness was something the family saw every day, and it was regrettable it failed to meet the legal definition of insanity.”

He further said that his sister was not an “animal who tried to kill her daughter out of revenge.” He called her a proud mother who organized scrapbooks for Janyla’s first birthday.

The baby eventually fully recovered and was placed in the custody of her father Deangelo Gonzalez. Gonzalez, again, is the ex-boyfriend whose breakup with Emily seemed to precipitate her then latest violent episode.

Of course, neighbors on Emily’s father’s street were shocked to hear that Ariel Castro, a well-known and respected school bus driver in the Cleveland area until last year, could be capable of kidnapping and imprisoning three teenaged girls in his basement for more than 10 years.

Ariel Castro’s Facebook page, complete with photos, depicts him as an avid bass fiddler and guitarist, and a motorcycle enthusiast.

His last Facebook post was May 2, 2013. It reads: “Miracles really do happen, God is good :)”


Amazingly, and in what may only be described as the ultimate of ironies, Castro’s son – the same one who spoke up for his sister at her trial in 2008 – had also written an article for the Cleveland Plain Press about the disappearance of young Gina DeJesus back in 2004. He was a journalism student at that time.

Ariel “Anthony” Castro, had even interviewed DeJesus’ mother for “background” on the piece. During the interview, of course, he did not realize that his own father had the girl chained and tied up in the basement of his home.

His Plain Press piece began: “Neighborhood residents have been taken by an overwhelming need for caution. Parents are more strictly enforcing curfews, encouraging their children to walk in groups, or driving them to and from school when they had previously walked alone.”

He ended the article with: “One thing is for certain, however. Almost everyone feels a connection with the family, and Gina’s disappearance has the whole area talking.”

Gina’s mother Nancy Ruiz told him: “You can tell the difference. People are watching out for each other’s children.

“It’s a shame that a tragedy had to happen for me to really know my neighbors. Bless their hearts, they’ve been great.”

As the story and allegations against his father began to emerge, Anthony Castro told WKYC-TV reporter Sara Shookman that: “This is beyond comprehension … I’m truly stunned right now.”

Ariel Castro’s (the father) uncle, Julio Castro, told CNN: “I never want to see them again. For me, it’s bad on one side and good on the other side.” He was speaking of all three of his nephews, two of whom have not been charged (and apparently will not be charged) in the kidnappings and subsequent events.

In another jaw-dropping irony, Julio Castro said his nephew Ariel Castro (the suspect) was a regular bass player in various bands that performed at a local club once owned by Gina DeJesus’ uncle.

And, for me at least, the irony of all ironies here is this: Arlene Castro’s (Emily and “Anthony’s” younger sister) and Gina DeJesus were classmates and “best friends.” In fact, it is being widely reported that Arlene Castro was the very last person to see and talk to Gina just before her father abducted her.



As this “story” continues to unfold, it is safe to say that the once thought to be odd or strange coincidences and ironies will continue to mount.

It is almost beyond belief that the two other brothers who were arrested with Ariel Castro had no clue whatever that Ariel was holding these young girls, now women, captive. For 10 years they saw nothing, heard nothing, knew nothing? Amazing.

One thing is absolutely certain, though. Although Emily Castro may not have fit Indiana’s “legal” definition of insanity, her family, the Castros of Cleveland, meets — surpasses — the textbook definition of “dysfunctional.”


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