Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Dead

Convicted 52-year-old found hanging in his cell; a review of the incident is under way

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Notorious kidnapper Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, on Tuesday.

He had been sentenced to life plus 1,000 years for keeping Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus locked up inside his basement in Cleveland for over a decade while sexually assaulting them.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said Castro’s death wouldn’t change the city’s commitment to helping the victims recover, and that residents should continue to respect the women’s privacy. “It is our sincere hope that they will continue to heal and recover,” he said in a statement.

Castro was only a little more than a month into his sentence. While not on suicide watch, he was being held in protective custody, and checked on every 30 minutes as they made their rounds. Upon finding Castro hanging, medical staff at the prison attempted to save his life, but an hour and a half later, he was pronounced dead at the Ohio State University Medical Center. Preliminary autopsy results Wednesday morning confirmed that he hanged himself.

In a statement by the Ohio Department of Corrections, communications chief JoEllen Smith said that a review of Castro’s death was ”underway and more information can be provided as it becomes available pending the status of the investigation.”

[19 Action News]