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Captive told 'if baby dies, I'll kill you'

ONE of Ariel Castro's prisoners was forced under threat of death to deliver the baby of her fellow captive on Christmas Day, it was alleged yesterday, as more details emerged of their brutal treatment.

Mr Castro was accused of repeatedly impregnating his victims and violently forcing them to miscarry, between taunting each with a birthday-style cake on the anniversary of their kidnappings.

Amanda Berry gave birth to a daughter, Jocelyn, in Mr Castro's house on December 25, 2006, three-and-a-half years after disappearing. The 52-year-old is accused of fathering the child and raping Ms Berry.

A leaked police report alleged yesterday that Michelle Knight, another captive, was forced to deliver the baby, and that "Ariel told her that if the baby died, that he'd kill her".

Ms Knight, then 25, is said to have told investigators that she frantically tried to resuscitate the child after it stopped breathing. After surviving, the child was frequently taken out in public with Mr Castro, police allege, but was never told the real names of the women in the house in case she mentioned them to outsiders.

Ms Knight has also said that she became pregnant five times by Mr Castro, who each time "starved her for at least two weeks, then repeatedly punched her in the stomach until she miscarried". Georgina DeJesus, now 23, is said to have told police that she did not believe she ever became pregnant during her nine years in captivity.

The women are believed to have recounted that they were initially bound with chains and ropes in Mr Castro's basement before being freer to move in an upstairs attic in later years.

Two have told police that they briefly left the house twice during their captivity – but only to be moved by Mr Castro to his garage in disguises.

Mr Castro also allegedly marked the anniversaries of each kidnapping by serving dinner and a cake. "He would celebrate their abduction day as their new birthday," one relative told the 'New York Times'.

The dramatic escape came on Monday after Mr Castro forgot to lock the "big inside door" of his home while leaving.

Ms Berry was said to have told police that she shouted for help from neighbours rather than try to break open the house's front storm door because "she thought Ariel was testing her".

Sobbing could be heard in the background of recordings of radio traffic between the officers released yesterday. "We found them," one officer told base. "We found them." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent