Police did go to the house twice in the past 15 years, but not in connection with the women’s disappearance, officials said.
In 2000, before the women vanished, Castro reported a fight in the street, but no arrests were made, Flask said.
In 2004, officers went to the home after child welfare officials alerted them that Castro had apparently left a child unattended on a bus, Flask said. No one answered the door, according to Flask. Ultimately, police determined there was no criminal intent on his part, he said.
On Tuesday, a sign hung on a fence decorated with dozens of balloons outside the home of DeJesus’ parents read “Welcome Home Gina.”
Her aunt Sandra Ruiz told reporters that her niece had an emotional reunion with family members.
“She recognized everyone,” Ruiz said, who asked that the family be given space.
“Those girls, those women are so strong,” she said. “What we’ve done in 10 years is nothing compared to what those women have done in 10 years to survive.”
Many of the women’s loved ones and friends had held out hope of seeing them again, holding candlelight vigils and tacking missing posters on streetlights.
For years, Berry’s mother kept her room exactly as it was, said Tina Miller, a cousin. When magazines addressed to Berry arrived, they were piled in the room alongside presents for birthdays and Christmases she missed. Berry’s mother died in 2006.
Just over a month ago, Miller attended a vigil marking the 10th anniversary of Berry’s disappearance.
Over the past decade or so, investigators twice dug up backyards looking for Berry and continued to receive tips about her and DeJesus every few months, even in recent years. The disappearance of the two girls was profiled on TV’s “America’s Most Wanted” in 2005.
But few leads ever came in about Knight, who was the first of the three to disappear, vanishing at age 20 in 2002.
Berry disappeared at 16 in 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King. About a year later, DeJesus vanished at 14 on her way home from school.
Police identified the three suspects as Ariel Castro, 52; Pedro Castro, 54; and Onil Castro, 50. Attempts to reach Ariel Castro in jail were unsuccessful.
Castro was a bass player in several salsa and Latin bands in Cleveland. But he lasted only two gigs with one group because he was always late, said Miguel Quinones, manager of Grupo Fuego.
Jessica Aponce, 24, said she walked home with DeJesus the day the teenager disappeared.
“She called her mom and told her mom she was on her way home and that’s the last time I seen her,” Aponce said. “I just can’t wait to see her. I’m just so happy she’s alive. It’s been so many years that everybody thinking she was dead.”
Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard, who were held captive by abductors at a young age, said they were elated by the women’s rescue.
“We need to have constant vigilance, constantly keep our eyes open and ears open because miracles do happen,” Smart said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”