Ariel Castro may have died from auto-erotic asphyxiation, report says

Ariel Castro, 52, is shown in this Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office booking photo taken on May 9, 2013. Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office/Handout via Reuters
Ariel Castro, 52, is shown in this Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office booking photo taken on May 9, 2013. Credit: Reuters

Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro’s death in his prison cell may have been caused by auto-erotic asphyxiation, not suicide, a report released Thursday said.

The investigative report by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said the 53-year-old’s trousers and underwear were around his ankles, although the relevance of the finding is “unclear.” Those facts were relayed to the Ohio State Highway Patrol for “consideration of the possibility of auto-erotic asphyxiation,” the report said.

The report also found that guards falsified logs and did not properly complete their checks on him.

Castro had been serving a sentence of life plus 1,000 years for the abduction, torture and detention of three young Cleveland women. He had been taken off suicide watch in June, but was supposed to have been checked on every 30 minutes by guards.

Castro had pleaded guilty in August to more than 900 counts including kidnapping, rape and murder, after three women and a 6-year-old girl he fathered escaped from his home on May 6. The kidnap victims — Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight — had been missing up to 11 years.


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