Ohio State Highway Patrol has ruled that Ariel Castro committed suicide. Corrections officers did not look in on Ariel Castro for 27 minutes. In that time period, he hung himself using a bed sheet and bending his knees. He wrote a note invoking scripture and saying those who confessed sincerely “will be saved.” Whether the note constitutes a suicide note is unclear, but the final investigative report indicates that he did commit suicide.
Another theory put forward was that Castro died accidentally engaging in autoerotic asphyxiation, but Lt. Anne Ralston, the state patrol spokeswoman, said there was no evidence to support that theory. Several inmates, who were interviewed, told investigators that Castro had frequent troubles keeping his pants up after losing weight. Officials told investigators that Castro was known not to wear underwear. It seems that Castro’s pants were found around his ankles coincidentally because he didn’t fit them.
The report also provides new insights into the final day of Castro’s life. Castro was looked in on only 9 times between 2:14 p.m. and 9:18 p.m. when he was found dead. He received food at 5:29 p.m. and a “supervisor, an officer, and a nurse stood in front of” his cell about an hour and ten minutes later (6:39 p.m.). Surveillance video indicates an officer “looked into Inmate Castro’s cell” at 8:51 p.m., the last check before Castro committed suicide.
“During the entirety of the video, no one is observed entering or exiting inmate Castro’s cell prior to the emergency call by the officers,” the report notes.
It added that “possible inaccurate and/or questionable entries” on the log book detailing what inmates were visited, and when, were found, but “no discrepancies were directly related to the death…” This finding follows news reports in October that indicated that two prison guards responsible for checking in on Castro may have forged their required rounds logs.
Castro was found with a Bible, a letter, a note that had “love my kids and grandkids” written in a heart. He also had family members’ names written down with various hearts, flowers, and musical note symbols around the paper.
Castro pled guilty to kidnapping and holding Michelle Knight, Georgina DeJesus, and Amanda Berry captive. He was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years.