TODAY

TODAY   |  May 08, 2013

Rossen: Did police miss signs of missing girls?

Now that three women missing for over a decade have been found in Cleveland, police are investigating how the suspects kept them captive for so long and whether they missed critical warning signs that could have saved them years earlier. NBC’s Jeff Rossen reports.

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>> a range of emotions, celebrating the return of the girls but the big question, how did the suspects keep this massive secret for more than a decade? this morning we are learning much more about the suspects and what may have happened inside that house . neighbors say they noticed alarming activity years ago, this man lives just a few doors down. he told us in 2011 his sister saw a woman holding a child in the house and banging on the window for help.

>> i called the cops. the cops pull up, pounded a good 20 times, they was there five, eight minutes, no answer. they shined a light inside the driveway, see the windows boarded up, got back inside the squad car and left.

>> rickey: that was it?

>> that was it.

>> rickey: last july another neighbor noticed another disturbing site.

>> my granddaughter told me about the naked lady calling on her hands and knees in the backyard.

>> rickey: she said she called the police but they never came. tuesday police were adam ant they've never been called to the house for those reasons.

>> we have no indications any of the neighbors, bystanders, witnesses or anyone else has ever called regarding any information, regarding activity that occurred at that house .

>> rickey: and we're learning more about the owner of that house , suspect aerii ariel castro a school bus driver for the city of cleveland his employment records show he was cited four times for breaking the rules. last november he was fired and there's more. in 2005 ariel castro 's ex-wife took him to court accusing him of violence. in this position she said castro had broken her nose twice, broken her ribs, knocked out a tooth, caused a blood clot in her brain and threatened to kill her and her daughters. the case was later dropped on a technicality. in a chilling twist the suspect's family is close friends with the family of gina dejesus, the youngest victim. when gina went missing ariel castro 's son wrote in the local people "almost everyone feels a connection with the family and gina 's disappearance has the whole area talking." ariel castro 's daughter was close friends with gina . she appeared even on "america's most wanted" and said gina invited her over.

>> my mom said no i can't go over her house and so i told her i couldn't and she said well okay, i'll talk to you later and.

>> rickey: now police are trying to figure out all the connections here, did the suspects know the other victims or was it complete random when they are alleged to have snatched them off the street. investigators had cadaver dogs on tuesday trying to see if there are other victims in the house they don't know about yet to be found trying to connect it to other cold cases . the suspects could be charged with kidnapping and rape as early as today.