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Report: Ariel Castro died from suicide, not auto-erotic asphyxiation

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On Sept. 3, when convicted Cleveland kidnapper / rapist Ariel Castro was found dead and hanging in his prison cell with his pants and underwear pulled down to his ankles, authorities considered the possibility that the hanging was an accident resulting from Castro toying with auto-erotic asphyxiation.

But on Dec. 3, NPR reported that a consultants’ report released today concluded that Castro’s death was a suicide.

The new report said all available evidence pointed to suicide, including a shrine-like arrangement of family pictures and a Bible in Castro's cell, an increasing tone of frustration in his prison journal and the reality of spending the rest of his life in prison while subject to constant harassment.

The report released by the prison consultants is supported by the same suicide conclusion reached by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Franklin County Coroner’s Office.

The report stated that although Castro’s suicide couldn’t be predicted, the prospects of life in prison, constant harassment, and threats to his safety, made for a suicide that “was not surprising and perhaps inevitable."

The report also stated that Castro was likely harassed by guards. Inmates interviewed by the consultants confirmed that they heard the guards harassing Castro.

"I don't know if I can take this neglect anymore, and the way I'm being treated," Castro wrote in a journal on Aug. 22, according to the report.

"I will not take this kind of treatment much longer if this place treats me this way," Castro wrote on Aug. 31.

"I can only imagine what things would be like at my parent institution. ... I feel as though I'm being pushed over the edge, one day at a time."

Castro had undergone psychiatric evaluations and health assessments as part of his initial incarceration, although suicide-prevention measures were never recommended on his behalf.

In addition to concluding that Ariel Castro died as a result of suicide, the report also recommended “beefing up staff training on suicide prevention and ending the use of online training.”

On July 26, Castro pleaded guilty to 937 criminal counts of rape, kidnapping, and aggravated murder after being arrested for the kidnapping and enslavement of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.

Castro was found dead hanging in his jail cell only one month into his prison sentence of life in prison without parole, plus 1,000 years.

Also see:

Michelle Knight: Cleveland kidnap survivor gets book deal

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