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OR- Forest Grove rapist found dead in Ontario prison suicide

1-9-2009 Oregon:

A Forest Grove man serving a 42-year sentence for sexual assault was found dead in an apparent suicide about 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario, the Oregon Department of Corrections said.

Richard Dennis Cantu, 41, alarmed Portland-area residents in 2000 by escaping from a sheriff's deputy and hiding for more than a day.

Cantu's death "is still being investigated," said Liz Craig, a corrections spokeswoman, "but we're calling it a suicide because he was found hung in his room."

Cantu admitted breaking into three homes in Forest Grove between 1996 and 1999 and attacking a 65-year-old woman, a 43-year-old woman and her 13-year-old daughter, and a 52-year-old woman. He was caught outside the last woman's home.

Minutes after Cantu pleaded guilty, he ran from the deputy who was escorting him from the Washington County Courthouse. He was captured a day later by three men who chased him off a MAX train from Hillsboro. ..Source.. by Michael Russell, The Oregonian

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