COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Preliminary autopsy results confirm the Cleveland man convicted of holding three women captive at his home for about a decade hanged himself in prison.
Officials say 53-year-old Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, in central Ohio. Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Franklin County coroner says an autopsy done early Wednesday showed it was a suicide, and the cause of death was hanging. She said toxicology tests still would be completed in the coming weeks.
A prisons spokeswoman says Castro was in protective custody because of the notoriety of his case, meaning he was checked every 30 minutes. But he was not on suicide watch.
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.
Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison after reaching a deal to avoid a possible death penalty.