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updated: 9/6/2013 7:40 AM

Report: Ohio kidnapper called mother of victim

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  • As authorities launched two probes to try to determine how Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro managed to commit suicide while in prison, his family was scheduled to claim his body two days after he hung himself with a bedsheet in his cell.

      As authorities launched two probes to try to determine how Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro managed to commit suicide while in prison, his family was scheduled to claim his body two days after he hung himself with a bedsheet in his cell.
    Associated Press/August 2013

 
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro says he called the mother of one of his victims while she was in captivity and told her she was OK, according to a videotaped FBI interrogation.

Castro also told investigators that authorities missed opportunities for capturing him while he held the women he kidnapped.

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Castro says in the video obtained by NBC's "Today" show and first reported Friday that he called the mother of Amanda Berry and told her that Berry was OK and that she was his wife now.

He said he hung up and they didn't have a conversation with her. Berry's mother died before Berry was freed in May.

Castro told investigators that video surveillance near the school of victim Gina DeJesus should have tipped police to him. And he said a girlfriend noticed a TV on in a room occupied by victim Michelle Knight and got him worrying he might be caught.

A message was left with representatives of the victims Friday morning.

Castro, 53, was a month into his life sentence for holding three women captive in his home for a decade when he committed suicide Tuesday night.

Two state reviews are under way, Ohio prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said, one looking into the suicide itself, and the other is examining whether Castro received proper medical and mental health care leading up the suicide.

A representative of Castro's family was expected to claim his body Thursday, the Franklin County coroner said.

Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping and rape, in a deal to avoid the death penalty. "I'm not a monster. I'm sick," he told the judge at sentencing.

Castro's captives -- Berry, DeJesus and Michelle Knight -- disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20. They were rescued from Castro's rundown house May 6 when Berry broke through a screen door.

Investigators said the women were bound, repeatedly raped and deprived of food and bathroom facilities.

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