Ariel Castro, the man convicted in August on charges of kidnapping and keeping imprisoned three women for up to ten years, was found hanged in an Ohio prison cell. Castro’s death was confirmed by the Rehabilitation and Correction Department in Ohio.
The kidnapper had not been on a suicide watch, but was being checked by guards in 30-minute intervals.
Castro, who was 53, was alone in his cell in an Orient, Ohio corrections facility in protective custody, said Ohio prison officials.
He was found inside his cell at 9.20 p.m. on Tuesday night. After medical staff at the prison attempted measures to save his life, Castro was taken to a local hospital where health officials declared him dead later Tuesday night.
Officials said a complete review of the incident was underway and that as more information became available it would be released.
Castro was a former bus driver in Cleveland who was sentenced to life plus another 1,000 years for the kidnapping, imprisonment and abuse of 3 women for over a decade.
The women had been kidnapped between 2002 and 2004. Not until May of this year, were they able to escape captivity and tell authorities of their abuse.
An attorney for Castro said on Wednesday that the entire Castro family was devastated when they heard the news. He said relatives had visited on a couple of occasions since Castro was moved to his new prison a few weeks ago.
He made the comment that many people are going to look at the death of Castro as a form of good riddance, but said he will investigate the circumstances of the inmate’s death, as he was a human being.
On social media, users were reacting with both happiness and anger.
According to Castro’s prison record, he was in prison for 473 kidnapping counts, 446 for rape and one for aggravated murder.