Accused Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro father of captive girl

Kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro, accused in the abduction of three women recently freed in Cleveland, Ohio, is seen in a mugshot photo, May 9, 2013.
Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department

Updated at 1:31 p.m. ET

CLEVELAND Tests have confirmed that alleged kidnapper Ariel Castro is the father of a 6-year-old girl rescued from his house with three women this week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Friday.

DeWine's office confirmed Castro's paternity in a news release Friday. DeWine said a sample of Castro's DNA was taken Thursday and forensic scientists worked through the night on the case.

Officials also were entering the DNA profile into a national database to see if it links him to other crimes. The profile didn't match any other Ohio cases, but national results were pending as of Friday morning, DeWine said.

The girl is the daughter of Amanda Berry, who authorities say was held for about a decade in Castro's house in Cleveland along with Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.

CBS Cleveland affiliate WOIO-TV reports that Knight is hospitalized for possible reconstructive surgery to heal injuries suffered at the hands of her accused attacker.

Knight's grandmother, Deborah Knight, confirmed the information, telling WOIO-TV: "When she was severely beaten, he had beat her so bad in the face, she has to have facial reconstruction, and she's lost hearing in one ear."

Berry and DeJesus went home with relatives Wednesday. Knight was reported in good condition at a Cleveland hospital.

Castro, 52, is being held on $8 million bond under a suicide watch in jail, where he has been charged with four counts of kidnapping - covering the three women and the girl - and three counts of rape, against all three women.

Years before his arrest Monday, Castro apparently contemplated committing suicide, CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton reported Thursday.

In a lengthy, handwritten note from 2004 discovered in his house by FBI agents, Castro allegedly confessed to taking the three women and said that he was abused as a child and raped by an uncle, according to a law enforcement source.

CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds also reports that Castro called himself a "sexual predator" and provided details about taking each of his victims. He blamed the women for their own kidnappings, but he asked for whatever money he had to be donated to his victims after his death.

Meanwhile, relatives of the mother of Castro's earlier children say he terrorized her, frequently beating her, playing twisted psychological games and locking her indoors in the years before their relationship disintegrated.

Several relatives of Grimilda Figueroa, who left Ariel Castro years ago and died last year after a long illness, painted a nightmarish portrait of Castro's family life as authorities made public horrifying details of the abuse endured by the imprisoned women.

In interviews with The Associated Press on Thursday, the relatives described Castro as a "monster" who abused his wife and locked his family inside their own home. Their views were at odds with those of some of Castro's family and a neighbor, who knew the former school bus driver only as a happy and respectful man.

Figueroa's relatives said Castro savagely beat her, pushing her down a flight of stairs, breaking her nose and dislocating her shoulder, among other injuries. Her sister, Elida Caraballo, said Castro once shoved Figueroa into a cardboard box and closed the flaps over her head.

"He told her, 'You stay there until I tell you to get out,'" said Caraballo, who cried as she recounted her late sister's torment. "That's when I got scared and I ran downstairs to get my parents."

Castro, to frighten his wife, kept a mannequin wearing a dark wig propped up against a wall and sometimes drove around the neighborhood with it, relatives said.

"He threatened me lots of times with it," said Angel Caraballo, Castro's nephew, who used to play with his cousins at the house where the kidnapped women were found. "He would say, 'Act up again, you'll be in that back room with the mannequin.'"

One day, Figueroa was returning home with her arms full of groceries when Castro jumped into the doorway with the mannequin, frightening her so badly that she fell backward and smashed her head on the pavement, Elida Caraballo said.

Prosecutors said Thursday they may seek the death penalty against Castro as police charged that he impregnated one of his captives at least five times and made her miscarry by starving her and punching her in the stomach. The allegations were contained in a police report that also said Berry was forced to give birth in a plastic kiddie pool.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty said his office will decide whether to bring aggravated murder charges, punishable by death, in connection with the pregnancies that were terminated by force. McGinty said Castro will be charged for every act of sexual violence, assault and other crimes committed against the women, suggesting the counts could number in the hundreds, if not thousands.

"Capital punishment must be reserved for those crimes that are truly the worst examples of human conduct," McGinty said. "The reality is we still have brutal criminals in our midst who have no respect for the rule of law or human life."

The three women said Castro chained them up in the basement but eventually let them live on the home's second floor. Each woman told a similar story about being abducted after accepting a ride from him.

Berry, now 27, told officers that she was forced to give birth in a plastic pool in the house so it would be easier to clean up. Berry said none of the women — or the 6-year-old — went to a doctor during their captivity.

Knight, now 32, said her five pregnancies ended after Castro starved her for at least two weeks and "repeatedly punched her in the stomach until she miscarried." She also said Castro forced her to deliver Berry's baby under threat of death if the baby died. When the newborn stopped breathing, Knight said, she revived her through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

The FBI has not recovered human remains in its search of the house, spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said Friday. Agents have removed more than 200 pieces of evidence, she added, declining to say what was found.

During his brief arraignment Thursday, Castro tried to hide his face, tucking his chin inside his shirt collar. He appeared to close his eyes during the hearing and awkwardly signed documents while handcuffed. He did not speak or enter a plea.