Cleveland kidnapper Castro found hanged in prison cell

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The man convicted and sentenced to life in prison last month for kidnapping three women and keeping them captive for years in his Cleveland home was found hanging in his prison cell in Ohio Tuesday night.

Ariel Castro was found at 8:20 p.m. CT at a prison facility where checks are required every 30 minutes, USA Today reported. Lifesaving measures were attempted and Castro was transported to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and pronounced dead at 9:52 p.m. CT, the newspaper reported.

An investigation is under way, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The death was a stunning ending to a story that had shocked the nation. He had pleaded guilty in July to 937 counts, including murder and kidnapping, in exchange for avoiding the death penalty. The charges stemmed from the kidnapping, rape and assault of three women: Michelle Knight, abducted in 2002; Amanda Berry; abducted in 2003; and Georgina DeJesus, abducted in 2004.

Castro is the father of Berry's 6-year-old girl.

The story broke in May after a dramatic rescue led to freedom for the three women. The home where they were held captive was destroyed last month.

"You took 11 years of my life away," victim Michelle Knight told Castro in open court at his sentencing. "I spent 11 years in hell. Now, your hell is just beginning."

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