UK & World News
Ariel Castro: Sex Act May Have Killed Kidnapper
Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro may have died from auto-erotic asphyxiation rather than suicide, according to a new report.
Castro's trousers and underwear were around his ankles when he was found hanged on September 3 at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, according to a report from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
In his cell, officials found a Bible open to John, Chapters 2 and 3, and pictures of Castro's family arranged "in a poster-board fashion", according to the report.
The former school bus driver was just a few weeks into a life sentence after pleading guilty in August to kidnapping three women from the streets of Cleveland, then imprisoning them in his home for a decade, during which time he repeatedly raped and beat them.
The report suggests that Castro, 53, may have died as a result of auto-erotic asphyxiation - where individuals achieve sexual satisfaction by briefly choking themselves into unconsciousness.
Castro did not leave a suicide note and "multiple levels of assessment" did not find a tendency towards suicide, the report said.
A comprehensive mental health evaluation also found "no evidence of serious mental illness or indications for suicide precautions were present".
Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak, who classified Castro's death as a suicide last week, said after the report that her office was never told his pants were down.
But she stood by her finding of suicide, saying Castro's pants may have slipped off while he was hanging and that there were no signs that he was sexually stimulated.
Two prison guards falsified logs documenting the number of times they checked on Castro before he died.
Surveillance video indicates guards did not do at least eight required checks during the afternoon and evening.
The report also said an ambulance contracted to provide medical assistance at the prison was "significantly late" in arriving, but the delay was unlikely to have affected Castro's death.
Staff at the prison reception centre failed to make sure Castro watched a suicide prevention video when he arrived in August.
The autospy showed Castro's death was a suicide, and the cause of death was given as hanging.
His three victims - Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight - disappeared between 2002 and 2004 when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.
Castro had been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to 937 counts, including kidnap and rape.
In court he said that he was not a "monster" but a sick man.