Infamous Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Dead After He’s Found Hanging in His Prison Cell

Convicted Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was found dead in his cell at the Correction Reception Center in Orient, Ohio. Corrections officials said he was found “hanging in his cell,” indicating that it was likely a suicide.

In this undated photo released by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections shows Ariel Castro, who held three women captive in his Cleveland home for a decade. Credit: AP

Castro was reportedly in protective custody, meaning he was in a cell alone and monitored regularly.

JoEllen Smith of the Ohio Department of Corrections issued the following statement:

Inmate Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell this evening at 9:20 pm at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient. He was housed in protective custody which means he was in a cell by himself and rounds are required every 30 minutes at staggered intervals.  Upon finding inmate Castro, prison medical staff began performing life saving measures. Shortly after he was transported to OSUMC where he was pronounced dead at 10:52 pm. A thorough review of this incident is underway and more information can be provided as it becomes available pending the status of the investigation.

Castro, who held three women captive in his home for nearly a decade, was sentenced Sept. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years on his guilty plea to 937 counts including kidnapping and rape.

The three women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. They escaped May 6, when one of the women broke part of a door and yelled to neighbors for help. Castro was arrested that evening.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.