- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 5, 2013

The three Cincinnati women who were held hostage by Ohio’s Ariel Castro for about a decade stayed silent on their captor’s suicide this week, leaving trial watchers and sympathizers wondering how the news hit them emotionally and whether they considered the news good or bad.

A family spokeswoman said Wednesday that Michelle Knight, Georgia DeJesus and Amanda Berry would not provide a public statement about Castro’s hanging death, CNN reported.

An aunt for Ms. DeJesus, Peggy Arida, said to a local WWLTV station that she had been informed of the Tuesday night suicide, and said: ” ‘Well, now he has to answer to God.’ That was it. He has to answer to God,” The New York Daily News reported.

Maria Castro-Montes, Castro’s cousin, meanwhile, said she hoped the trio would not suffer further from the news.

“I just hope these victims can move past this now,” she said, CNN reported. “I know they wanted him to live out a life sentence, but really, was he suffering behind bars? I mean, getting meals, sleeping in a nice, warm, soft bed. You know, those girls didn’t even have that luxury when they were being held captive in his home. They were being raped. They were being tortured. They were being beaten.”

Castro was discovered in his cell, hanging from a bed sheet. Prison officials tried to resuscitate him, but failed. Castro’s attorney, however, said authorities should have taken precautions to avert just such an incident from occurring.

Attorney Craig Weintraub also said in CNN that his request for an independent forensic psychologist to evaluate Castro — and possibly red flag his potential for suicide — were denied.

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