In 2004, officers went to the home after child welfare officials alerted them that Ariel Castro, a school bus driver, had apparently left a child unattended on a bus, Flask said. No one answered the door, according to Flask. At some point in the investigation, police talked to Castro and determined there was no criminal intent, he said.
The women’s loved ones said they hadn’t given up hope of seeing them again.
Berry’s cousin Tasheena Mitchell told The Plain Dealer newspaper: “I’m going to hold her, and I’m going to squeeze her and I probably won’t let her go.”
Berry’s mother, Louwana Miller, who had been hospitalized for months with pancreatitis and other ailments, died in 2006. She had spent the previous three years looking for her daughter, whose disappearance took a toll as her health steadily deteriorated, family and friends said.