Ariel Castro, the convicted kidnapper and rapist who was sentenced in August to life plus 1,000 years for his crimes, was found dead in his prison cell on Tuesday evening, The Huffington Post reports. He was 52.
Castro received his massive prison sentence on Aug. 1, after putting in a guilty plea to all 937 counts against him in exchange for the death penalty being taken off the table. Castro was convicted for kidnapping and raping Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, and holding them captive in his Cleveland home for more than a decade.
During his sentencing, Castro denied claims of abusive and insisted that most of the sex was consensual.
‘I’m not a violent person,” Castro said. “I simply kept them there without them being able to leave.”
The three women, who disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, escaped on May 6 when one of the women broke part of a door to Castro’s residence and yelled to nearby neighbors for help. Castro was arrested that same night.
According to JoEllen Smith of the Ohio Department of Corrections, Castro was discovered hanging in his prison cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio at around 9:20 PM Tuesday. The prison medical staff attempted to revive Castro, but their attempts were unsuccessful, and he was later pronounced dead at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
During his prison stay, Castro was isolated from other inmates for his own protection.
Ohio State Police and the Department of Corrections are currently investigating the death.