Ariel Castro, the man found guilty of holding three women captive in his Cleveland home for more than a decade, was found dead in his prison cell late Tuesday evening after hanging himself. An autopsy revealed Wednesday that his death was indeed a suicide.
Spokeswoman JoEllen Smith of the Ohio Department of Corrections said Castro was found hanging in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient around 9:20 p.m. Castro had been placed in protective custody, which meant he was housed in a cell by himself and was checked on every 30 minutes. Upon finding him, prison medical staff performed CPR and transported him to the Ohio State University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m.
On August 1, 53-year-old Castro was sentenced to life in prison with an additional 1,000 years and no possibility of parole. He plead guilty to 937 counts including kidnapping, rape, and aggravated murder, after agreeing to a plea deal that would spare him the death penalty.
Castro was arrested back in May when one of the women was able to escape with the help of two neighbors and alert the police. All three women — Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight — were kidnapped between 2002 and 2004 and imprisoned in Castro's basement. In 2006 and while still in captivity, Berry gave birth to a daughter fathered by Castro, according to DNA evidence. The six-year-old was also rescued with the other women.
Last month, the infamous "house of horrors" was demolished in front of a large crowd of cheering neighbors and Knight herself, who handed out yellow balloons to represent missing children.