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Why were Ariel Castro’s brothers arrested in Cleveland?

Onil Castro and Pedro Castro (R) appear for their initial court appearance in Cleveland, Ohio, May 9, 2013. Their brother Ariel Castro, 52, a veteran school bus driver fired from his job last fall, was formally charged with kidnapping and raping the three women, who were rescued from his house on May 6 evening shortly before his arrest. Initially, Castro's two brothers, Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, were also arrested as suspects in the case but police said they were not charged after investigators determined they had no knowledge of the abductions or captivity of the women.

John Gress/Reuters

Not long after police found three longtime missing women in a home on Cleveland's west end Monday, they announced they had arrested three suspects: Ariel Castro and his brothers, Pedro and Onil.

But by Wednesday, police announced only Ariel would be charged in connection with the kidnappings and rapes of Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus. Brothers Pedro and Onil were later released.

What happened?

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According to Cleveland police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba, "there is nothing that leads us to believe that they [Pedro and Onil] were involved or had any knowledge of this." Mr. Tomba said that after interviewing victims as well as the three Castro brothers, they concluded that Pedro and Onil did not have anything to do with the three kidnappings.

So why were Pedro and Onil arrested?

Mr. Tomba said a big part of why the two were arrested is because at least one of them happened to be with Ariel at the time of his arrest. "As you know, early on, you can only imagine the chaos and the relief that we had finding these girls. We had enough probable cause to bring them into custody," he said. "We brought them into custody, as many suspects are, and we continued our investigation."

According to television station WKYC, Onil was with his brother Ariel in a McDonald's parking lot Monday when police approached. "After they were handcuffed, Onil Castro asked police if this was about his brother, Pedro. 'If so, he's over at our mom's house on Hyde Avenue,'" Onil said, according to the WKYC report. Pedro was arrested shortly after.

Though police later determined that Pedro and Onil were not involved with the missing women investigation, they remained in police custody due to unrelated misdemeanour warrants.

So what happens next?

All three brothers made appearances in court Thursday morning – Ariel for four charges of kidnapping and three counts of rape, and Pedro and Onil for misdemeanour charges.

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Ariel's bail was set at $8-million. Pedro and Onil have since been released

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National Food Reporter

Ann Hui is the national food reporter at The Globe and Mail. Previously, she worked as a national reporter and homepage editor for theglobeandmail.com and an online editor in News. More

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