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Family claims Castro's body, details about kidnappings disclosed

Sept. 6, 2013 at 1:24 PM

CLEVELAND, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Family members Friday claimed the body of Ariel Castro, who kidnapped three women and tortured them for about a decade, an Ohio coroner says.

Franklin County coroner Dr. Jan Gorniak said the body was turned over to a funeral home chosen by the family, the Los Angeles Times reported. The coroner said no family members were present when the body was transferred and details about Castro's final arrangements were not available.

Castro narrowly avoided being discovered several times, tapes and letters released after his death indicate. He was caught this year because he let his guard down, he told interrogators.

The revelations were made in police tapes and personal letters released after Castro hanged himself in his prison cell Tuesday, NBC News reported Friday.

In the tapes, Castro expressed surprise he was able to avoid capture for so long. He said surveillance cameras at Gina DeJesus' middle school should have recorded his image the day he abducted her.

On another occasion, shortly after he kidnapped Michelle Knight, his girlfriend at the time questioned why he had a television set in the room where he was secretly holding Knight.

"And my heart started beating, and I was like, 'OK, she's probably catching onto something'," he told investigators.

He once called captive Amanda Berry's mother on the girl's cellphone and told her Amanda's "my wife now."

Castro said he got caught because the daughter he had with Berry asked him to stop locking all the doors. The day the women escaped, he said, he had left a bedroom door open.

Personal letters seized by police indicated Castro considered suicide as early as May 2004 while he held his captives.

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