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Berks County's #4 & #3 stories of 2013

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 30 2013 04:03:48 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 30 2013 05:08:08 PM CST

We continue to count down our top stories of 2013 chosen by 69 News viewers.

READING, Pa. -

We continue to count down our top stories of 2013 chosen by 69 News viewers. Numbers three and four are both stories of infamous men who gained national notoriety for their alleged crimes.

Miguel Torres was on the run for seven years and appeared on "America's Most Wanted," but he was apprehended in Italy and returned to Berks County in 2013. His extradition in November was the fourth top story this year.  

"We want him to be held responsible for his actions," said Berks County District Attorney John Adams.

Torres, 43, is accused of shooting his wife Barbara execution style and killing her on Sept. 12, 2005. Police said she was leaving work at the former Wachovia Bank on North 6th Street in Reading when he shot her in the parking lot and fled the scene, eluding police for the next seven years.

But in 2013, the U.S. Marshal's Service, along with Italian authorities, found Torres and extradited him to the U.S.

"Well, it finally means that we will have some kind of closure, and the family would like to thank all the law enforcement and everyone that had a hand in bringing this day," said the victim's aunt, Diana Rivera-O'Bryant.

Coming in at number three was the story of Ariel Castro, who admitted to kidnapping three women and holding them captive for almost a decade in Cleveland.

But long before he was accused of those crimes, Castro lived at 435 North 2nd Street in Reading in 1970 and 1971.

"Every single day out here, all the kids played together. We played kick the can when there were still bricks here on the sidewalk," said Joe Gonzalez, who recalled growing up with Castro.

Neighbors were sickened to hear that Castro allegedly kidnapped Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, bound them with ropes and chains and sexually assaulted them.

"People like that for me are born sick," said Yvett Colon, of Reading.

"That was a terrible crime. I feel sorry for all the families of the people," said Francisco Castro, of Reading.

Castro pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison in August. He killed himself in prison in September.