Friday, May 10, 2013

More On The Indiana Connection To The Cleveland Kidnapping Case

Earlier this week I discussed an attempted murder case involving the daughter of the Cleveland man, Ariel Castro, who is accused of kidnapping three teen-age girls and holding them hostage in his home for nearly a decade as his personal sex slaves. Castro's 19-year old daughter, Emily, was convicted in 2008 of attempting to kill her infant daughter by stabbing her multiple times in the neck with a knife. Emily was living at the time with her mother, Grimilda Figueroa, in Fort Wayne. Much has been made of the abusive relationship Ariel had with Grimilda. Much less has been said about Grimilda's second husband, Fernando Colon, who worked for a private investigation firm in Cleveland, International Investigations. As it now turns out, Colon had been one of the first persons to come under the suspicion of the FBI in the disappearance of one of the kidnapped girls.

Cleveland's Scene magazine reports that daughters Emily and Arlene Castro were close to two of the girls kidnapped by their father, Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus. “These kids all knew each other,” said the private investigator Chris Giannini, who employed Grimilda's second husband, Fernando Colon. Giannini says that Colon had come under the suspicion of the FBI following the disappearance of Dejesus and had been called in for questioning in the case. According to Giannini, Colon told the FBI they should be looking at his wife's first husband, Ariel. Giannini says the FBI never bothered to follow up their investigation by questioning Castro, an appalling failure on their part. If they had investigated Castro nine years ago when Colon first accused him, the case could have been solved early on.

Police instead kept their focus on Colon, egged on by Castro according to Giannini, because of allegations his daughters Emily and Arlene were making against Colon, their step-father, claiming that he was sexually molesting them. "As his daughters continued to accuse Colon of touching them inappropriately - of penetrating them - Ariel Castro began visiting them more frequently and showering them uncharacteristically with gifts," the Scene reported. "They didn’t spend much time at Castro’s Seymour Avenue house, though. He ensured that much."

According to the Scene, the daughters' mother and their older brother both denied their allegation against Colon. Nonetheless, Colon was charged with kidnapping and gross sexual imposition charges in 2004. "Ariel Castro had testified against him in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas," the Scene reported. "His wife and Castro’s son had testified on his behalf, hoping to clear Colon’s name in this increasing confusing tangle of allegations. Colon’s wife repeatedly told investigators that there was no credence to any of the charges." Colon was later offered a very light sentence he couldn't possibly appeal after his conviction the Scene reported.

What's particularly interesting is a suggestion by the Scene that the infant daughter who Emily would later be convicted in Indiana of trying to kill may have actually been fathered by her step-father, Colon, and not her boyfried as had been assumed when she was charged in the 2007 Fort Wayne case. "Several years after the gross sexual imposition conviction of Colon blew over, Emily Castro gave birth to a girl," the Scene reported. "It’s unclear who the father was - though speculation points to either a former boyfriend who now lives in Cleveland or, according to the private investigator, something much more untoward, evil, and incestuous." “It is certainly a mystery as to how this happened or why this happened,” Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck told The Journal Gazette at the time.

No comments: