Ariel Castro, who was convicted of the kidnapping, rapes, and imprisonment of three young women for over a decade, died as a result of suicide, officials say.
The cause of Castro's September death was put into question due to conflicting stories about how he was found in his cell; one nurse said he was found completely naked, but another staff member said he was found hanging with his pants around his ankles, suggesting a possible accidental auto-erotic asphyxiation. A new report released by the Ohio prison system says he did indeed die from suicide, however, and notes the way Castro arranged photos of his family and a Bible in his cell.
“In conclusion, based upon the fact that this inmate was going to remain in prison for the rest of his natural life under the probability of continued perceived harassment and threats to his safety, his death was not predictable on September 3, 2013, but his suicide was not surprising and perhaps inevitable,” the report says.
Castro abducted Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight when they were teens and kept them locked in his home for over ten years, forcing horrific abuse upon each of them, including rapes and forced miscarriages. Berry gave birth to a daughter, now six; all four captives were rescued over the summer when Berry escaped and ran to a neighbor's house to call for help.
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