Ariel Castro Suicide: Convicted Kidnapper and Rapist Found Hanging in Cell

Convicted kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro was found dead hanging in his jail cell in an apparent suicide on Tuesday night at the Correction Reception Center in Orient, Ohio. The 52 year-old gained national infamy earlier this year after it was discovered that he had been holding captive three women for about a decade in his Cleveland home, where he repeatedly raped and abused them. 

Castro plead guilty last month and was sentenced to 1,000 years in prison plus a life sentence. He had kidnapped Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus, and Amanda Berry, with whom Castro had a six-year old daughter. Knight told investigators that she had become pregnant by Castro several times, and he would induce abortions by punching her in the stomach.

JoEllen Smith of the Ohio Department of Corrections released this statement on Castro's death:

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.

During his sentencing last month, Castro gave rambling and bizarre testimony in which he argued that the sex between him and his victims was often consensual and declared, "I am not a monster."