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Dead: Ariel Castro who held three women captive for 10 years hangs self in prison

Published:Wednesday | September 4, 2013 | 7:44 AM


The United States man who kidnapped three young women and repeatedly raped them in his home for nearly a decade was found hanging in his cell and is believed to have committed suicide, a prison official said today.

Ariel Castro, 53, had started serving a life prison term after being sentenced last month to life in prison plus 1,000 years on his guilty plea.

Castro was found in his cell Tuesday night, JoEllen Smith, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman, said early Wednesday.

Prison medical staff performed CPR before he was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Castro had been in protective custody because of the notoriety of his case, meaning he was checked every 30 minutes, but he was not on suicide watch, Smith said.

She said suicide watch entails constant observation.

Castro told the judge at his sentencing he was suffering from a pornography addiction.

"I'm not a monster. I'm sick," he said.

The three women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.

They escaped from Castro's home May 6, when Amanda Berry, one of the women, broke part of a door and yelled to neighbors for help.

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