Death of Ohio kidnapper Ariel Castro might not be suicide, report suggests

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 4:18am

Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro may have died from auto-erotic asphyxiation, not suicide, and two prison guards falsified logs documenting their observation of him before he died, the state said yesterday.

Castro's pants and underwear were down to his ankles when he was found, leading the state to forward those facts to the state highway patrol to consider the possibility of auto-erotic asphyxiation, according to the report from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Castro, 53, was 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. Rescued with the three women in May was a six-year-old girl Castro fathered with one of the victims.

The report suggests - but does not conclude - Castro may have died as the result of auto-erotic asphyxiation, whereby individuals achieve sexual satisfaction by choking themselves into unconsciousness.

Castro did not leave a suicide note and "multiple levels of assessment" did not find tendency towards suicide, the report said. A comprehensive mental health evaluation found "no evidence of serious mental illness".

Surveillance video indicates guards did not do at least eight required checks on Castro the afternoon and evening before he died. Two checks were done properly just before Castro hanged himself on September 3.