ORIENT -- Convicted Cleveland kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio Tuesday night.
Castro, 53, was found at 9:20 p.m. He was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m. at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
The Franklin County Coroner has confirmed Castro died by hanging.
Franklin County coroner Dr. Jan Gorniak said preliminary results of the autopsy confirmed that Castro's death was a suicide. She said toxicology tests would be completed later. The coroner says Castro's death was comparable to cases in which bed sheets were used to commit suicide.
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Castro was in protective custody, meaning he was alone in his cell and was checked on every 30 minutes. He was not on suicide watch.
A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Corrections says Castro had no disciplinary history and says the determination to place an inmate on suicide watch is made by credentialed prison mental health staff following an assessment of an inmate.
Prison medical staff attempted life-saving measures before he was taken to the hospital.
Attorneys representing the three women held captive by Castro say no statements will be released at this time. The women continue to ask for their privacy.
READ | Prison system's statement on Castro suicide
Castro was convicted of the kidnapping Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.
Over the span of at least 10 years, he repeatedly raped the women and forced abortions inside his Seymour Avenue home.
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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.
The incident is under investigation.