crimesider

Ariel Castro Update: Auto-erotic asphyxiation possible in Cleveland kidnapper's death

Aug. 1, 2013 file photo shows Ariel Castro in the courtroom during the sentencing phase of his trial in Cleveland. He was convicted of holding 3 women captive in his home and raping them over a decade. AP Photo/Tony Dejak, file

Aug. 1, 2013 file photo shows Ariel Castro in the courtroom during the sentencing phase of his trial in Cleveland. He was convicted of holding 3 women captive in his home and raping them over a decade.
Ariel Castro in the courtroom during the sentencing phase of his trial in Cleveland, Aug. 1, 2013.
AP Photo/Tony Dejak, file
(CBS/AP) COLUMBUS, Ohio - Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro may have died from auto-erotic asphyxiation, not suicide, and two prison guards falsified logs documenting their observation of him in the hours before he died, the state said Thursday.

PICTURES: Disturbing new photos from inside Castro's home

Castro's pants and underwear were pulled 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.

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

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. He was accused of limiting their access to food and toilet facilities and chaining them at times to a pole in the basement. Rescued with the three women in May was a 6-year-old girl Castro fathered with one of the victims.

Castro did not leave a suicide note and "multiple levels of assessment" did not find tendency toward suicide, the report said. A comprehensive mental health evaluation found "no evidence of serious mental illness or indications for suicide precautions were present," according to the report.

According to CBS affiliate WOIO, the report says Castro also had the Bible open and had pictures of his family laid out in a poster board format on the floor at the time of his death.

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 Sept. 3 at a prison reception center south of Columbus.

The report also said an ambulance contracted to provide medical assistance at the prison was significantly late in arriving, but the delay likely didn't affect the outcome.

The report also said staff failed to make sure Castro watched a suicide prevention video when he first arrived in August.

Complete coverage of the Cleveland kidnapping case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

Comments

Follow Us