Ariel Castro, the monster who held three women captive in his Cleveland home for nearly a decade, was found hanging in his jail cell last night. Following the discovery of his body at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio around 9:30 p.m. Castro was taken to Ohio State University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m. 

Cleveland's 19 Action News reports that Castro, 52, was on suicide watch, having been placed alone in a cell where guards were required to check on him every 30 minutes. It was during one of these routine checks that guards found his body. The Ohio Department of Corrections sent the following statement to 19 Action news:

Inmate Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell this evening at 9:20 p.m. at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient. 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. Upon finding inmate Castro, prison medical staff began performing life saving measures. Shortly after he was transported to OSUMC where he was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m. A thorough review of this incident is underway and more information can be provided as it becomes available pending the status of the investigation

While Castro's death was initially ruled a suicide, both the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Department of Corrections say the investigation is still open. On May 6, authorities rescued Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus from the basement of Castro's now-destroyed home on Seymour Avenue. On Aug. 1, he was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 counts of rape, gross sexual conduct, child endangerment and aggravated murder.

[via 19 Action News and Gawker]

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