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Cleveland kidnap-rape convict Ariel Castro found dead in prison - reports
The online news portal of TV5

WASHINGTON  - Ariel Castro, sentenced to life in prison for holding three young women captive and raping them for a decade, has been found dead in his prison cell, news reports said.

CBS television and other US news outlets reported that the former Cleveland, Ohio school bus driver, who was sentenced to life in prison last month, was found dead in his cell late Tuesday.

The 53-year-old Castro was found hanging in his cell and officials tried to resuscitate him, according to a statement from the Ohio Department of Corrections, according to TV station KTLA of Los Angeles.

"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," the statement said.

Castro was pronounced dead at 10:52 pm.

"A thorough review of this incident is underway," the statement by corrections department spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said, according to KTLA.

Smith was not immediately reachable for comment.

Castro's crime shocked the country and led to an outpouring of national pity for the three victims, who were abducted separately between 2002 and 2004.

Their names are Amanda Berry, now 27; Gina DeJesus, 23; and Michelle Knight, 32.

They ranged in age from 14 to 20 when they were abducted off the street by Castro in a working class neighborhood of Cleveland.

They escaped May 6 when Berry managed to break open part of the front door and call out to a neighbor for help.