Cleveland Kidnapping Suspect’s Daughter Had Slashed Her Baby’s Throat in 2008


 After a decade of having held 3 women prisoner who they had kidnapped, 3 Cleveland men have been arrested yesterday when one hostage escaped and called the police in a dramatic 911 call. Investigator Jessica Heddings discovered that one of the suspect’s daughters was convicted in 2008 for attempted murder of her one-year-old baby, when she was found with her throat slashed.


While the authorities gather evidence against the three brothers accused of kidnapping  3 girls more than a decade ago and holding them against their will, it seems like heinous crimes against children run in the family.

Through connecting various posts on facebook and twitter, investigator Jessica Heddings discovered that the daughter of Ariel Castro, the owner of the hostage house, and a suspect in the kidnapping, has a daughter who was convicted of trying to kill her own daughter, his granddaughter, in 2008.

From the Journal Gazette:

Before she was sentenced to 25 years in prison, Emily Castro wanted a judge to know she was a good mother.

But the 20-year-old could offer no explanation for why she slashed her 11-month-old daughter’s throat last April, leading to charges of attempted murder and battery. The girl, Janyla, has since made a full recovery.

In January, in a rare trial before a judge rather than a jury, Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck found Castro guilty but mentally ill of attempted murder. The charge of battery was included in the more serious charge and not included at sentencing.

Surbeck sentenced Castro to 30 years in prison but suspended the last five years, to be served on probation. She will be required to seek ongoing mental health treatment as a condition of her probation.

Castro sobbed through much of the sentencing hearing.

She was arrested April 4 when police were called to the 3700 block of Parkhill Avenue on a report of a dog biting a child, a report later found to be a passer-by’s erroneous observation. When police arrived, they found 11-month-old Janyla bleeding from severe cuts on her throat and being held in her grandmother’s arms.

Prosecutors argued Castro tried to kill her daughter after breaking up with the girl’s father the day before the attack.

During the trial, defense attorneys John Bohdan and Zachary Witte produced evidence Castro suffered from serious depression for years before the birth of her daughter, and that it spiraled into paranoia, causing her to think her family was trying to kill her and the baby, at the time of the attack.

The claim in the last sentence really makes one wonder if the family had something to do with her paranoia.

Ariel Castro has a son, Ariel “Anthony” Castro, who has visited Emily in prison. Ariel, the father, writes on that picture, ” A Father’s Love for his Children is like none other.” Rather chilling, given the accusations made against him. Ariel, the son, had also written about one of the kidnapping victims, Gina DeJesus, in 2007.

Eddie Castro is a friend of the elder Ariel, on facebook, and posted that he was the suspect. 

Jessica Heddings discovered this message from Ariel Castro to Janyla on facebook, the victim of the assault from Emily Castro:

In the article from 2008, Ariel “Anthony” Castro is quoted:

Speaking on behalf of his sister, Ariel “Anthony” Castro described the torturous last 10 months, in which his family nearly lost both a grandchild and her mother.

“What happened to Janyla was serious, unthinkable and irreversible,” he said, reading from a statement. “What happened to my sister is no less serious.”

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

She was not an “animal who tried to kill her daughter out of revenge,” he said, describing his sister as a proud mother who put together scrapbooks in anticipation of Janyla’s first birthday.

Is it simply a coincidence that the same family is involved in the attempted murder of a child in 2008, and the kidnapping of three children over a decade? Did Ariel and his brothers do something to drive his daughter into the paranoia that caused her to assault her own baby?

It is frightening to think what would drive people to do such heinous things to children.