FORT MADISON (AP) — An Iowa man serving several life sentences in the 2001 slayings of his girlfriend, her five children and a former employer committed suicide in his prison cell, corrections officials announced Thursday.
Adam Moss, 35, was found unresponsive and hanging with a bed sheet around his neck tied to a wall vent in his cell Wednesday afternoon at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections. He had been confined to a mental health unit.
Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta said medical personnel immediately detached the bed sheet and determined Moss was dead, The Des Moines Register reported.
The Lee County Medical Examiner said the cause of death was asphyxia due to suffocation. Scaletta said the death is under investigation.
Moss pleaded guilty in Sioux City in October 2001 to seven counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of his girlfriend, Leticia Aguilar, 31, her five children, and businessman Ron Fish, 58, who he had worked for at some point. The children were between the ages of 6 and 12.
Police said Moss beat all seven to death with a hammer and slit Aguilar’s throat. Police captured Moss a day after the bodies were discovered.
Moss was later sentenced to seven consecutive life terms with no chance of parole.
Iowa does not have the death penalty, and the newspaper reported that the killings renewed debate on whether to bring it back.