TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The aunt of the 13-year-old girl who allegedly spent much of the last year chained up in a north Toledo basement by her step-father and step-brother is speaking out.
Burnett Smith is the sister of the 13-year-old's mother and spent a lot of time with the teenager and her step-siblings before she lost connection with them.
Smith was extremely upset to hear what happened and is questioning a lot things she saw in the past.
Smith is stunned and confused after learning what happened to her niece.
Looking back, she says she never thought Tim Ciboro could do what he's accused of.
She's known Ciboro for more than 10 years.
"He didn't act like that. He seemed to be a good person. I didn't see him mistreat [name of girl]," said Smith.
Smith says she never saw Ciboro give any preferential treatment towards the other two kids who he fathered.
Smith also spoke about the teen's step-brother Esten, who she says he was very attentive to his father.
"I think he was scared of his dad because he looked like he was scared. When I met him he looked like whatever his dad do he'd jump," said Smith.
As for her sister, Stafonda Hawkins, Smith says she was a good mother to all three of her children.
"I know she loved her babies, and if she had any thinking that Tim would have done this, I just don't believe she would have left them," said Smith.
According to Smith, Stafonda left town a few years ago after getting into some trouble with the law, leaving her three children with Tim and Esten, and no longer communicating with her Smith.
short time later, the 13 year-old would run away, with no shoes.
Smith says the teen was able to find her when she left.
"I said what did he do, she said he punish me when I pee on myself. I said like what, she didn't tell me like what," said Smith.
But when the teen was returned back to the Ciboro, Burnett says that's when Tim cut her connection with her nieces and nephew in a nasty phone call.
"I don't want you calling the phone, my phone no more. I don't want you to come over and see them, because if you do I'm going to call and tell the police that you kidnap. I said who did I kidnap?" said Smith.
Since then, Smith says she's always had the children and her sister on her mind, now she's just trying to figure out why this ever happened to a child she loved so much.
"Why Tim, why did ya'll do her like that? What did she do to deserve to be treated like a dog?"