He was sentenced August 1 to life in prison, plus 1,000 years, for kidnapping and sexually assaulting Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus while holding them captive in his Seymour Avenue house for over a decade.
Ohio State Police and the Department of Corrections are investigating the death.
JoEllen Smith of the Ohio Department of Corrections released this 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.
This news comes just under a week after Castro's attorneys had finally spoken out about their experience representing him in court. Lead lawyer Craig Weintraub and co-counsel Jaye Schlachet discussed the fact that their defense of Castro had been influenced heavily by their Jewish faith. They considered taking the case a "mitzvah" - a moral deed.
"Here's how it's a mitzvah," Weintraub said. "We saved him from potentially lethal injection and 20 years on death row, which would have cost the taxpayers and community millions and millions of dollars, and we spared the women the anguish and 'revictimization' of events.
"The guilty plea and the agreement to waive any appellate issues spared the courageous women from a jury trial and the worldwide exposure of the gruesome and horrifying details of their 10-year torture."
Weintraub and Schlachet had hoped that Castro would have been available to forensic psychiatrists to study, and perhaps prevent similar mental breakdowns in others. Any such research now will have to rely on testimony from those that knew him, and his victims.