Ariel Castro Dead; Cleveland Kidnapper Found Hanged in Prison Cell

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Ariel Castro, the man convicted of kidnapping and imprisoning three Cleveland women over the course of a decade, was found dead Tuesday night.

The 53-year-old was found hanged in his prison cell, where he was alone, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction confirmed in an email.

Castro was in protective custody, but was found dead at 9:20 p.m. ET in the cell, where checks are required every 30 minutes, prison medical staff said.

After lifesaving measures were attempted, Castro was transported to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m.

JoEllen Smith with the state corrections agency said:

"A thorough review of this incident is underway and more information can be provided as it becomes available pending the status of the investigation."

Castro, a former Cleveland bus driver, was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years on August 1 related to kidnapping, abuse and imprisonment.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were held in chains and abused in his house after he abducted them between 2002 and 2004.

They escaped May 6, after Berry broke free and alerted others.

Ariel Castro Mug Shot

The case elicited emotions from people across the U.S. whose hearts went out to the young women Castro pleaded guilty to kidnapping and abusing.

Ariel Castro claimed that he was never mean to the women during their time in captivity, but the public - and the judge sentencing him - were unmoved.

He was convicted of over 400 counts of kidnapping and rape; Berry gave birth to his child. He avoided the death penalty by virtue of his guilty plea.

Amid cheers from onlookers, Castro's Cleveland house was torn down in August by the county. Two demolition companies did the job of charge.

Social media users reacted with anger and, in many cases, relief or even happiness to news of his apparent suicide late Tuesday night and this morning.

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Martha, you said he might have been helped? What help could he have received?

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He might have been helped....either way he was sick and paid what he did with his life.

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@ martha tavarez

Oh no. No help for the devil.