TODAY   |  May 08, 2013

Cleveland police chief: Ropes, chains found in home

Michael McGrath, Cleveland’s chief of police, confirms to TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie that chains and ropes were found in the home where three women were held captive for over a decade and said charges will be filed today.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> cleveland with more on the three women who were rescued from captivity from a home here and they are now opening up to investigators about their ordeal. today, police are expected to question the brothers who are now under arrest and we may see charges later today . we're joined by police chief michael mcgrath . good to see you.

>> good morning, how are you?

>> first let's talk about the interviews your investigators have been able to do with the victims in this case. have they been able to have an extended conversation now?

>> they have. the task force , the investigative task force team which is compiled of the fbi and cleveland officers, have been interviewing the victims since last evening, and they'll continue today.

>> what have they told the investigators about what they experienced in captivity?

>> we don't have that information yet. that information is with the investigators currently, and that will not be provided until the total interview process is completed.

>> there are a lot of reports out there right now and i'm just going to ask you to do your best to respond to them if you can, there have been reports that the women were physically bound, that there may have been chains inside that home. can you confirm that?

>> we have confirmed that. we have confirmation that they were bound and there was chains and ropes in the home.

>> is it your understanding that they were kept in that way for most of the time, periodically, infrequently?

>> you know, we'll have a better feel for that question once the interviews with the victims is completed later today .

>> there is another report out there that not only of course is there a daughter that was born during this time, but that there had been multiple pregnancies during this period of captivity. can you confirm that?

>> i cannot and that has not been confirmed yet.

>> what do you know about these suspects? are they talking to police now?

>> currently today we are interviewing the suspects that were arrested here the night before last, yes, they are talking.

>> have they confessed?

>> i can't share that information with you yet until we are briefed later this afternoon.

>> you mentioned the chains, some of the ropes. what were the conditions of the home, what were the conditions of confinement as you understand it?

>> i have not been in the home. that home was a crime scene and the fbi conducted the search of the home and processing it as a crime scene they completed late last night and they'll be at the debriefing this afternoon with the investigative team and will have a further information concerning the conditions inside the home.

>> were these women ever allowed outdoors, to your knowledge?

>> very rarely, they were released out into the backyard once in a while i believe.

>> what kind of physical condition were they in? were they malnourished?

>> no, no, actually their physical well-being was very good, considering the circumstances.

>> i have to ask you, there have been many reports in the last couple of days from neighbors, people who lived in this area who said they had called police over the years, one person said they called police having seen a woman naked in the backyard being held on a leash, another one said they'd seen a woman pounding on a window holding a child. do you know anything about calls to police of that nature?

>> i do. we checked our record management system , which is our reporting system and also our c.a.d. system, our communication system as far as calls coming into the cleveland police department and we have no record of those calls coming in over the last ten years.

>> you have no record of it. does that mean those calls didn't come or is it possible the calls were made and for whatever reason they were never recorded?

>> no, we would have a recording of those calls.

>> do you think those neighbors are in error, are lying?

>> i'm not going to say that. i do know that we have no record of anybody calling. we had two calls relative to that residence over the years and one was from the residence, relative to a fight in the street and the other one a 4-year-old that was left on a school bus that the one suspect was driving. other than that, we have no other calls or service or complaints at that particular address.

>> this is one of those times when there's a lot of scrutiny on your department for reasons i'm sure you can understand. are you confident that your officers never missed an opportunity to rescue these women?

>> absolutely. there's no question about it. you know, when these girls disappeared, all three, well amanda and the dejesus girl, over the years, we had a task force together and it was a unified command between the cleveland police department and the fbi , and there was a lot of agents and a lot of police officers and the detectives worked very hard and continued to work very hard over the years trying to solve this case. it was part of their life.

>> do you expect the charges to come today?

>> i would expect the charging process to be completed today, yes.

>> before i let you go, do you expect all three men to be charged or perhaps only one?

>> i can't answer that question. that will be determined by the city prosecutor when the facts are presented.

>> chief mcgrath it's good to have you here. thank you