Cleveland kidnapper, rapist Ariel Castro hanged himself in prison with bed sheet, ODRC says

CLEVELAND - Ariel Castro committed suicide using a bed sheet, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.

The Franklin County Coroner's Office said Castro's autopsy is complete. They confirmed the cause of death as hanging and manner as suicide.

ODRC said Castro's cell was 8 feet by 12 feet and contained a single bunk. He was allowed a uniform, bed sheet and hygiene products.

Castro was pronounced dead at Ohio State University Medical Center after he was found hanging in his prison cell Tuesday night.

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He had been housed alone at the State Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, south of Columbus, where he was in protective custody and checked every 30 minutes.

Jaye Schlachet, Castro's attorney, released a statement Wednesday morning:

"We requested the opportunity for a forensic psychologist to evaluate Ariel Castro when he was in county jail and the state's prison reception center.  Local and state authorities denied our requests. There is an institutional failure beyond Ariel Castro and the citizens of Ohio are entitled to something better.  It's just sad."

Castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus 1,000 years after accepting a plea deal.

Three missing women, Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, were found alive in his home after nearly a decade of being held captive and sexually abused.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

"Today Gary Mohr, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), commissioned a review team to analyze the death of inmate Ariel Castro last night at the Correctional Reception Center (CRC) in Orient.  Castro was found hanging in his cell at approximately 9:20 p.m. and was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m. at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. 

"This review team, chaired by Ed Banks, DRC's Managing Director of Organizational Development, will include professionals from DRC's legal, medical, mental health, security and operational divisions who are knowledgeable of DRC's policies and procedures but who were not directly involved with the incident.  Such reviews are part of DRC's protocol in the wake of such incidents.  Mohr has requested that it be completed by the end of the month.

"The review is in addition to a separate, independent investigation being conducted by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.  In addition, pursuant to DRC's protocol, a mortality review has begun by credentialed DRC medical and mental health professionals to thoroughly review all pertinent medical and mental health care records concerning inmate Castro and information surrounding the incident. These professionals will determine whether applicable policies and procedures concerning the delivery of medical and mental health care were followed for inmate Castro. 

"Castro was admitted to prison on August 2, 2013, and was placed in protective custody, a level of custody maintained for certain inmates that entails housing them in a single-occupancy cell and keeping them under close watch, with corrections officers making security rounds at staggered 30-minute intervals."

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