"Oh, it was just heart-dropping," Onil said. "Just terrible when they said that, when he said that, 'It's Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, and they were in your brother's house.' I just couldn't believe it because, you know, there was no signs of anything like that. I've seen no signs."
Pedro's interrogation followed the same course.
"The detective said, 'Well, these three girls are in your brother's house.' And I just, what, say that again. 'These three girls are in your brother's house.' 'What do you mean in my brother's house?' 'He kept them captive.' 'You mean, they're alive and in my brother's house?' 'Yes.'"
Never past the kitchen
They were not allowed past the kitchen of his house in the past 10 years.
"I didn't go to his house very much, but when I did, he would let me in not past the kitchen," Pedro said. "The reason why we would go in the kitchen, because he had alcohol. And he would take me in the kitchen, give me a shot."
His brother would cook for him sometimes, "but I would eat out on the steps," he said.
Curtains blocked the kitchen from the rest of the 1,400-square-foot house. Ariel explained it away as an energy-saving setup, Pedro said.
"He said he wanted to keep the heat in the kitchen because the gas bill," Pedro said.
His brother's home was also always filled with background noise whenever he visited, he said. He couldn't hear what was happening in other rooms because "the radio was playing all of the time," he said. "If not the radio, the TV. Something had to be on at all time in the kitchen. So, I couldn't hear nothing else, but the radio or the TV."
When asked whether that ever raised any questions for him, Pedro explained that his brother often did "strange" things.
"No, because Ariel, to me, he was a strange dude," he said. "I mean, it didn't faze me none because when he said keep the heat because he gets cold real quickly. He's always wearing a lot of coats and stuff, so I figured well, he wants to keep the heat in."
Onil said he saw "absolutely nothing" unusual in his brother's backyard, and he hadn't been inside the house in years. "The last time that I was in that house, it was in the kitchen."
Ariel was "a little apart" from the rest of the family and "strange to me all through our lives," he said.
"He always stayed to himself with his music," he said. "And like I said, there would be times when we wouldn't see him for a month, two weeks. Mama use to say 'Check your brother, check on your brother. He lives alone in that house. He's a loner. You don't know if he's OK or what's going on.' So I would text him and he would text me back. 'What are you doing?' 'I'm fine.'"
One of Ariel's daughters gave CNN a similar description, saying when she visited her father "he would take forever to come to the door." He would not let her in through the front of the house, Angie Gregg said.
The secret daughter
The child who investigators say Ariel Castro fathered with Berry was allowed to venture outside of the house at times, while the women stayed locked in the house. "I seen Ariel with a little girl at McDonald's and I asked him who's that," Pedro said. "And he said 'This is a girlfriend's of mine.'"
He saw the child again with his brother weeks later at a Burger King, he said.
"And then I questioned him, where's the mother" 'Oh, she had to do something.' So, I just let it go."
"I had no idea that, that little girl was his or Amanda's" he said. "I had no clue. That I learned this as the days go by, you know, after we got caught."
Gregg said her father showed her a photo of the girl in his cell phone about two months ago, telling her it was his girlfriend's child by somebody else.
"I figured at the most he had an illegitimate child out there, you know, and I would find out eventually," Gregg said.
Hostage's dad was a friend
Pedro and Onil now wonder how their brother could have interacted with the family of one of his hostages. They all knew Felix DeJesus, the father of the 14-year-old kidnapped on the way home from school nine years ago.