ariel castro*Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man who held three women captive in his home for nearly a decade before one escaped, has committed suicide.

Castro, 53, was found hanging in his cell around 9:20pm Tuesday evening at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, according to, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokesperson JoEllen Smith.

Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Smith pointed out that Castro was not on suicide watch, but was in protective custody because of the notoriety of his case, meaning he was checked every 30 minutes.

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 Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years on his guilty plea to 937 counts including kidnapping and rape.