San Diego man grew up with accused Ohio kidnappers - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego man grew up with accused Ohio kidnappers

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - People who live in the Cleveland, Ohio community where three women were held captive are asking one another if they knew the suspects. It turns out one San Diego resident knows all three.

Flipping through memories from his high school yearbook in Cleveland, Joseph Rider is simply dumbfounded to think his closest childhood friends Ariel, Onil and Pedro Castro are accused in the kidnapping the entire nation is talking about.

"If this really happened the way it's coming down… we didn't know. No one knew, supposedly," Joseph said.

Joseph grew up on the west side of Cleveland across the street from the three brothers.

"They were never in trouble. I don't remember them ever being in trouble in school," he said.

Police say three women and a six-year-old girl were being held against their will inside Ariel Castro's home. Joseph says it's about a mile from where they grew up, and it's shocking because Ariel was the most normal brother out of the three.

"That would be the one in that family you'd least suspect of anything. He was the mellowest, the quietest," Joseph said.

On Ariel Castro's Facebook page, the 52-year-old suspect says he has five grandchildren and recently wrote "Miracles really do happen. God is good."

But Joseph says his childhood friends' life changed dramatically about a decade ago.

"It looks like (Ariel Castro) got divorced right before the first girl came missing," he said.

Joseph was living in Cleveland when all three women disappeared, and often bumped into the Castro brothers during the years they're accused of imprisoning the victims. Joseph even gave Ariel tickets to a rock concert.

"And now it's like, I guess he kept that hidden very good," Joseph said.

Joseph is still hoping there's some sort of mix-up, and says the Castros are innocent until proven guilty.

"Hopefully they were not involved, but if all three were involved, that really goes to show you that you can't sometimes judge people," he said.

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