Convicted Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was found dead Tuesday night, a prison spokesperson confirmed. Castro, the 53-year-old man arrested and found guilty of kidnapping and raping three women for a decade, was reportedly found hanged in his prison cell in an apparent suicide.
According to a statement from the Ohio Department of Corrections, Castro was discovered in his cell at 9:20 p.m., and transported to the Ohio State University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead 90 minutes later. ”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,” the department’s statement read.
Castro was arrested in May after Amanda Berry, one of the three women he held in captivity for a decade, escaped and called for help. The three— Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight—were abducted separately by Castro between 2002 and 2004, and assaulted and raped for years. Castro pleaded guilty in August to 937 counts including kidnapping and rape, and agreed to a life sentence plus 1,000 years without parole.
A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Corrections says an investigation into Castro’s death is under way.