A little more than a month into serving his life plus 1,000-year prison sentence, the Ohio man who held three women captive in his Cleveland home for years has committed suicide at a state prison facility.
Spokeswoman JoEllen Smith says 53-year-old Castro was found hanging by a bedsheet in his cell around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient. Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Officials say after the notoriety of his case, Castro was placed in protective custody, meaning he was checked every 30 minutes. But he was not on suicide watch.
The three women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. They escaped May 6, when one of the women broke part of a door and yelled to neighbors for help. Castro was arrested that evening.
Castro was sentenced Sept. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years on his guilty plea to 937 counts including kidnapping and rape.
The three victims of Castro are declining to comment on the news that the man who held them prisoner in his home for a decade has taken his own life.
But prosecutor Tim McGinty says it shows that Castro "couldn't take, for even a month, a small portion of what he had dished out for more than a decade."
A neighbor who lived up the street from Castro says, "He took the coward's way out." Elsie Cintron says, "We're sad to hear that he's dead, but at the same time, we're happy he's gone."