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   COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio corrections officials say Ariel Castro who held three women captive in his home for nearly a decade has committed suicide at a state prison facility.

   Spokeswoman JoEllen Smith says 53 year old Castro was found hanging in his cell around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient. Prison medical staff performed CPR before Castro was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

   The three women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. They escaped May 6, when one of the women broke part of a door and yelled to neighbors for help. Castro was arrested that evening.

   Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years on his guilty plea to 937 counts including kidnapping and rape.

 
Published in National News

 CLEVELAND (AP) - Ariel Castro learns his sentence today after pleading guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping, rape, assault and aggravated murder for holding three women captive in a run-down Cleveland home for a decade.

The prosecutor says one captive's diaries document the horrific physical and sexual abuse that Castro subjected the women to on a daily basis. Castro could get as much as life in prison plus 1,000 years.

 
Published in National News

 CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive in his home for over a decade has pleaded not guilty to additional charges.

An expanded indictment charges Ariel Castro with 512 counts of kidnapping and 446 counts of rape, among other crimes.

Castro was arrested in May after the women escaped to freedom.

 
Published in National News

   On her first night at home in a decade, relatives of freed kidnapping victim Gina DeJesus huddled around her, sleeping on inflatable mattresses in their living room so the young woman would not have to sleep in an upstairs bedroom similar to the one where she spent much of her captivity, her mother told ABC News in an exclusive interview with David Muir.

   DeJesus, 23, was reunited with her family Wednesday after nearly 10 years spent as the alleged prisoner of Ariel Castro, a man her mother knew for years.

   For years after DeJesus' abduction, Castro, who grew up in the same community as the young woman's mother, Nancy Ruiz, would offer the family his support.

   As recently as last year, Castro, 52, asked Ruiz, "How are you doing?" never indicating he was allegedly keeping her daughter a captive in his Cleveland home just miles from where she lived.

   Ruiz said DeJesus told her that she and two other women, Amanda Berry, 27, and Michelle Knight, 30, were kept chained in the basement of the basement. Later on, they were allowed upstairs and kept in two separate bedrooms for much of the time.

   DeJesus and Knight were often kept in one bedroom. Berry and her daughter, 6, whom she gave birth to while in captivity, were held in a second room, Ruiz said.

   The young women were warned there was an alarm system and that it would go off if they tried to escape, Ruiz added.

   The women were freed on Monday, when Berry screamed for help from behind a locked door, alerting neighbors who helped kick down the door and called police.

   Ruiz said Castro would take Berry's daughters on outings to the park and to church, though the women were never permitted to leave the property themselves.

   Berry's litte girl was never told the real names of the other women in the house because of fears she might reveal those names in public and get Castro in trouble, Ruiz said.

   Castro would bring the women food, which they would cook. Sometimes he would bring them McDonald's food.

   He bought the young women clothes from a local store, Ruiz said, and DeJesus would use the fabric from the clothes to make new outfits, once changing a skirt into a pair of capri pants.

   Castro was arraigned today in an Ohio court on charges of kidnapping and rape. Bond was set at $8 million. He did not enter a plea.

Published in National News

CLEVELAND (AP) - Authorities have filed kidnapping and rape charges against a Cleveland man arrested after three women missing for about a decade were found alive at his home.

Homeowner Ariel Castro was charged Wednesday. Brothers Pedro and Onil Castro are held but face no charges right now.

The men are in custody and can't be reached for comment. Their brother-in-law has said the family is "totally shocked" after hearing about the women at the home.

The three women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004 and were found Monday after one of them screamed for help to escape and contacted police.

Police say ropes and chains were among evidence collected inside the house. A city councilman says the women were subjected to prolonged sexual and psychological abuse and suffered miscarriages.

Published in National News

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