Ariel Castro's Former Neighbor Feels She Could Have Become a Victim
INSIDE EDITION spoke to a young woman and her mother who feel lucky Ariel Castro didn't abduct her when they lived in his neighborhood.
Imagine having the monster Ariel Castro run his fingers through your hair.
A pretty young woman is horrified that the man she once considered a close family friend is charged with the crime shocking the nation. Now, she wonders—could it have been me?
Bianca Cruz was just nine years old when she met Castro. Her mother, Daisy, was a TV reporter in Cleveland, dating a musician who played in the same jazz band as Castro.
"Every time he'd see me, he'd come up to me and say 'hi.' He was really friendly, stroking my hair and saying hi to me at the same time, kind of rubbing my shoulder," Bianca told INSIDE EDITION. "I feel like I could have been the next victim. I feel like he had more intentions behind the touch than what it seemed."
Bianca and her mom now live in Yonkers, New York. Bianca told INSIDE EDITION she was dumbfounded when she heard the news about Castro.
"I was disgusted. There are just no words to explain how I felt," said Bianca.
Now, Castro's own daughter, Angie, is speaking out against him in a devastating interview with CNN.
"There will be no visits, there will be no phone calls. He's dead to me," said Angie.
She says her father is responsible for bringing shame to the entire Castro family.
"My father's actions are not a reflection of everyone in the family. They're definitely not a refelction of myself or my children. We don't have monster in our blood," she stated.
We're now learning that several Castro family members are making plans to permanently leave Cleveland and fly to Florida in the coming days. Close neighbors tell INSIDE EDITION that some family members fear for their safety and others are simply too ashamed to stay in the community any longer.
Castro is reportedly telling police everything, calling himself "cold blooded" and "addicted to sex." He's shown "no remorse" except at being caught.
Meanwhile, we're hearing for the first time from Michelle Knight, the first woman to be kidnapped more than a decade ago. Knight was just released from the hospital which issued a statement on her behalf:
"Michelle Knight is in good spirits and would like the community to know that she is extremely grateful for the outpouring of flowers and gifts. She asks that everyone please continue to respect her privacy at this time."
Knight was so badly beaten by Castro over the years that she requires facial reconstructive surgery.
Balloons were released into the sky to celebrate the safe return of Michelle Knight and the other kidnap victims, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.
Amanda Berry gave birth to six-year-old Jocelyn during her decade in captivity.
Bianca Cruz can only be thankful that a similar fate didn't happen to her.
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