Cousin of Castro brothers stunned over Cleveland kidnapping case

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CLEVELAND -- Swarmed by local, national and international media, Maria Castro-Montes wiped tears from her eyes and said her family had no way of knowing what happened inside the most infamous home on Seymour Avenue.

The entire Castro family is "stunned and shocked," the 45-year-old hospital administrator from Cleveland said.

Early today she and her father, Julio Castro, visited Seymour Avenue where three women were found Monday inside Ariel Castro's home.

Mrs. Castro-Montes said Mr. Castro is her first cousin.

"We share a bloodline and a name, but that's where the connection stops," she said.

The women -- Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight -- were all missing from the same west-side Cleveland neighborhood.

Mr. Castro and two of his brothers, Onil and Pedro, have been arrested in connection with the investigation. Charges have not been filed but are expected sometime today.

Mrs. Castro-Montes said the Castro and DeJesus families know one another from the neighborhood and their histories "go way back."

She said she has not spoken to the DeJesus family -- she described herself as having been a friend of Ms. DeJesus' mother.

She said her family would "love nothing more than to help these victims" and said it would be "an honor and a privilege."

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