Another kidnapper is dead: John Esposito, the man convicted of holding a 10-year-old girl prisoner for 17 days in a suburban New York dungeon, was found dead in his Sing Sing prison cell last night, the state Department of Corrections said today. The death is under investigation but does not appear to be suspicious. Esposito was serving 15 years to life for kidnapping Katie Beers and hiding her under his Bay Shore, Long Island, home in 1992.
Beers' kidnapping attracted nationwide attention in early 1993, when revelations surfaced while she was still missing that she had suffered years of neglect from her mother and had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by her godmother's husband since she was a toddler. Esposito, a family acquaintance, admitted to detectives on Jan. 13, 1993, that he had kidnapped Beers and showed them the dungeon. He appeared before a parole board for the fourth time yesterday, but the decision hadn't yet been revealed. Beers, now a mother of two living in rural Pennsylvania, said in a statement that she is happy Esposito will "never have the opportunity to hurt anyone ever again." (Read more missing child stories.)