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Katie Beers Case: John Esposito, man convicted the 1992 kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl, found dead in N.Y. prison

John Esposito in an undated photo CBS New York

John Esposito in an undated photo
CBS New York
(CBS) OSSINING, N.Y. - John Esposito, a man convicted of holding a 10-year-old girl prisoner for 17 days in a suburban New York dungeon in 1992, has been found dead in his prison cell.

A state corrections spokeswoman says Esposito, 62, was found unresponsive at around 3:30 p.pm. in his cell at Sing Sing on Wednesday. She says the death was under investigation but didn't appear to be suspicious. He had appeared before the parole board earlier in the day.

Esposito was serving a 15-to-life term for kidnapping Katie Beers in 1992 and hiding her for 17 days in a dungeon under his Bay Shore, N.Y. home.

CBS New York reports  Beers said in a statement Wednesday night "I'm saddened at the loss of a life but at the same time I'm happy that John Esposito will never be granted parole or have the opportunity to hurt anyone ever again."

According to the station, Beers grew up in a neglected home where she was sexually and emotionally abused. Esposito, who was her neighbor, claimed that he loved her.

Beers, who is now 30-years-old, dropped out of the public eye since her rescue and reappeared in January this year. She told CBS New York, "I'm in a more mature place. With hindsight it is easier to recall things. My life now, I'm married, work full-time, and have two beautiful children."

  • Iris Carreras

    Iris Carreras covers crime for CBSNews.com

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