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Accused Cleveland kidnapper's uncle speaks out

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: May 09 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: May 10 2013 04:36:17 AM CDT

Ariel Castro wasn't always known as a "monster," explained his uncle in a telephone conversation with WFMZ's Dwayne Parker.

Ariel Castro wasn't always known as a "monster," explained his uncle in a telephone conversation with WFMZ's Dwayne Parker.

Before Ariel became known as the most notorious man in the country for allegedly kidnapping three young women, he lived in a home in the 400 block of N. Second Street in Reading, according to city records.

Ariel's uncle, Julio Castro, talked about the good days when Ariel played with his brothers and friends in the neighborhood.

"When they first moved from Puerto Rico to Reading, I found that he was a happy kid, along with the others. They played together," Castro said.

He adds that his nephew was such a talented musician that he went out and bought him a guitar.

"I noticed that he could make music so I went and bought him a guitar and he started from there," Castro said. "He was such an amazing person."

Sadly, it seems, Ariel is no longer the pride and joy of his family. Now he's accused of kidnapping Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, and allegedly holding them in his Cleveland, Ohio basement, at times, in chains, for more than a decade.

The accusations have caused nothing but heartache for the people who loved Ariel.

"Very difficult. Very difficult indeed," said Castro's uncle.

When Castro was asked if he thought his nephew was guilty, he responded: "I have no idea. No one is guilty until proven guilty."