Ariel Castro, sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping, rape and beatings of three Cleveland women he held captive for years in his house, was found hanged in his Ohio prison cell late on Tuesday (September 3), a state corrections official said.

The former school bus driver, who was under protective custody and isolated from other inmates at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, was found dead at about 9:20 p.m. when prison staff were making their rounds, Rehabilitation and Correction Department spokeswoman Jo Ellen Smith said.

After prison medical personnel tried to resuscitate him, Castro, 53, was transferred to an area hospital and pronounced dead about 90 minutes later, she said.

Castro was sentenced on Aug. 1 to life plus 1,000 years in prison without the possibility of parole for abducting his three victims and keeping them imprisoned in the dungeon-like confines of his house, where they were starved, beaten and sexually assaulted for about a decade.

Castro had been incarcerated since Aug. 5 at the Correctional Reception Center. He was to remain there while undergoing a series of mental and physical evaluations before being transferred to a more permanent lockup, prison officials said.

"A thorough review of this incident is under way and more information can be provided as it becomes available pending the status of the investigation," Smith added.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty acknowledged after Castro's sentencing that a suicide note and confession written by Castro was found by authorities at his residence when they searched his home following his arrest in May.

But McGinty dismissed the letter as an attempt of Castro, whom he described as a "narcissist", to feel sorry for himself and to place blame on his victims.

Presented by Adam Justice

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