Questions raised on role of Cleveland Police in kidnapping case

(FOX19) - Some people including Castro's neighbors have questioned the Cleveland Police Department for how they handled this particular case and think they should have been more aggressive in locating the three missing women.

FOX19 spoke with local police and a specialist in locating missing people. They both agree the Cleveland Police Department did absolutely nothing wrong. They say in this particular case, there's not a whole lot more they could have done, and it's the public that plays a crucial role in all these cases.

For about a decade, three women were held captive in what appeared to be a normal looking home in Cleveland. But why did it take so long to find them?

"When you start getting cases that are five, six, eight years old, it becomes more and more difficult," explained Lt. Joe Macaluso with the Delhi Township Police Department.

Dave Rader is a local search coordinator for Equusearch, and he says their plan always begins with where the individual was last seen.

"You try and saturate it the best you can and look in the woods and look at every crack and crevice but again you cannot go into people's homes," said Rader.

Joe Macaluso with the Delhi Township Police Department says unless there are tips from the public about suspicious activity at the residence, it's nearly impossible to tell if someone is being held captive in a home. He says they need a warrant to fully search a house or business.

"It's not like you can start just knocking on doors and say 'I want to gain access to your home and let me in now'. It just doesn't work that way," said Macaluso.

So if not the police, who needs to take on more responsibility for these missing person cases that sometimes last for years? Rader says it's the public.

"It's just paying attention to your surroundings. You have to sit and is there any changes in your neighbor? Is there things that they used to do that they don't do anymore," explained Rader.

Macaluso and Rader agree that the exposure and getting a person's picture out there is key. Similar to the miraculous rescue in Cleveland, all it takes is one person to act that could make the difference in life or death.

"If that individual would not have listened to what he had heard and decided to act upon it then unfortunately it could have been years and years before they were discovered, if at all," said Macaluso.

According to the Ohio Attorney General's Office, there's over 250 active missing person cases throughout the state.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.