Sources connected to the investigation in the death of Cleveland kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro said Wednesday he committed suicide using a bed sheet, according to 10News Scripps sister station WEWS-TV.
The Franklin County Coroner’s Office said Castro’s autopsy is complete. They confirmed the cause of death as hanging and manner as suicide.
Castro was pronounced dead at Ohio State University Medical Center after he was found hanging in his prison cell Tuesday night.
He had been housed at the State Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, south of Columbus, where he was in protective custody and checked every 30 minutes.
Jaye Schlachet, Castro’s attorney, released a statement Wednesday morning:
“We requested the opportunity for a forensic psychologist to evaluate Ariel Castro when he was in county jail and the state’s prison reception center. Local and state authorities denied our requests. There is an institutional failure beyond Ariel Castro and the citizens of Ohio are entitled to something better. It’s just sad.”
Castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus 1,000 years after accepting a plea deal.
Three missing women, Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, were found alive in his home after nearly a decade of being held captive and sexually abused.
CNN reported that the women are aware of the death. WEWS-TV reported early Wednesday that the family of DeJesus are doing fine after hearing of the news. Meanwhile, Cleveland's mayor Simon Ostler posted the following on Facebook:
"Our focus remains on the well-being of the survivors of Seymore Avenue. It is our sincere hope that they will continue to heal and recover. I ask the community to continue to respect the privacy of the survivors so that they can move forward with their lives."
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.