First cousin of the three suspects Maria Castro-Montes, center, speaks to the media on Cleveland's Seymour Avenue early today.
CLEVELAND -- Swarmed by local, national, and international media, Maria Castro-Montes wiped tears from her eyes and said her family had no way of knowing what happened inside the most infamous home on Seymour Avenue.
The entire Castro family is "stunned and shocked," said the 45-year-old hospital administrator from Cleveland.
Early today she and her father, Julio Castro, visited Seymour Avenue where three women were found Monday inside Ariel Castro's home.
Mrs. Castro-Montes said Mr. Castro is her first cousin.
"We share a bloodline and a name, but that's where the connection stops," she said.
- Neighbors in disbelief, relief after discovery of 3 Cleveland women
- Neighbors: Man in custody helped search for missing girl
- Police visited home where women were held, but didn't enter
The women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, were all missing from the same west side Cleveland neighborhood.
Mr. Castro and two of his brothers, Onil and Pedro, have been arrested in connection with the investigation. Charges have not been filed but are expected sometime today.
Mrs. Castro-Montes said the Castro and DeJesus families know one another from the neighborhood and their histories "go way back."
She said she has not spoken to the DeJesus family -- she described herself as having been a friend of Ms. DeJesus' mother.
She said her family would "love nothing more than to help these victims," and said it would be "an honor and a privilege."
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.