Ariel Castro

Ariel Castro, the man convicted of holding three Ohio women captive for almost a decade, was found dead in his jail cell from an apparent suicide, The Associated Press reports.

According to a Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman, Castro, 53, was found hanging in his cell on Tuesday night. He was given CPR and then transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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Castro had previously been on suicide watch in early June when he was at the Cuyahoga County Jail. But after his conviction, he was moved to the Correctional Reception Center just south of Columbus, Oh., where he was under protective custody due to the high profile nature of the case. Castro was checked on every 30 minutes.

In May, three Cleveland women managed to escape Castro's home where they had been held since their separate disappearances between 2002 and 2004. After yelling for a neighbor to help, the women were rescued. Castro was arrested that night and on August 1 was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years.