Ariel Castro — May Have Died From Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation

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Convicted Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro may have died by pulling a David Carradine … hanging himself while masturbating — an act known as auto-erotic asphyxiation — according to a new investigative report that was just released by the prison.

Castro was discovered in his cell by prison guards Sept. 3rd … hanging from a hinge in the window of his cell … with a bed sheet wrapped around his neck.  His death was initially ruled a suicide.

The report reveals Castro died with his pants and underwear pulled down around his ankles … which raised the possibility of auto-erotic asphyxiation … according to the report.

And there”s more … prison officials found an open Bible in Castro”s cell … which was opened to John Chapters 2 and 3.  They also discovered pictures of his family … arranged in poster-board fashion.

At the time of his death … Castro was just a few weeks into a life sentence … for kidnapping three women and holding them in captivity in his house for a decade.