On Sept. 4, 2013, WOIO confirmed the Ohio Franklin County’s Coroner’s report stating convicted kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro took his life on Sept. 3, 2013, by hanging himself in his jail cell with a bed sheet. A press conference is not scheduled.
According to a statement by Ohio Department of Corrections’ spokesperson JoEllen Smith, staff with the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, found Castro hanging in his cell by a bed sheet at 9:20 p.m. Castro was transferred to the The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and pronounced dead at 10:20 p.m., Sept. 3, 2013.
Castro was convicted and sentenced on Aug. 1, 2013, in a plea deal that found him guilty on 937 criminal counts including kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder. Three young women who were the subject of a decade-long, missing-persons investigation were rescued on May 6, 2013, when Amanda Berry heroically escaped to freedom. The investigation determined that Castro abducted then 21-year-old Michelle Knight in 2000, Amanda Berry in 2003 (she was 16-years-old at the time); and Gina DeJesus in 2004, when she was 14-years-old. The three women lived in squalor, spent their days in chains, and suffered torture and abuse at the hands of Castro who kept them locked in the basement of his home located at 2207 Seymour Ave Cleveland, Ohio. The home has since been demolished. Berry gave birth to a daughter while in captivity while Knight has revealed horrific details of Castro impregnating her multiple times then severely beating her until she miscarried.
Castro’s plea deal resulted in a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 1,000 years. Of the three victims, only Michelle Knight spoke at Castro’s sentencing. She tearfully told the court that a death sentence was too easy for Castro’s crimes and she hoped he would suffer in hell as he endured each day of his sentence.
“I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning. I will overcome all this that happened, but you will be in hell for eternity,” Knight told the court on Aug. 1, 2013. The women have remained silent following news of Castro’s death.
JoEllen Smith released the following statement to WOIO, “Inmate Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell this (Tuesday) evening at 9:20 p.m. 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 p.m. A thorough review of this incident is underway and more information can be provided as it becomes available pending the status of the investigation.”
View the video above for more on this story and see the slideshow with photos from Amanda Berry’s escape, the women’s rescue and Ariel Castro in court.
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