02:34 PM EDT 03/19/2015
Originally posted 09/05/2013 01:45PM
John Esposito, the former Long Island building contractor convicted of kidnapping Katie Beers two days before her 10th birthday and keeping her in a makeshift underground dungeon for 16 days in 1993, died Wednesday inside his cell at Sing Sing prison in Ossining, NY. He was 64.
He was discovered shortly after a parole hearing and it appeared he died of natural causes, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision told CBS 2 News in New York.
Esposito was serving 15 years to life for abducting Beers and imprisoning her inside a soundproof underground room he crafted below his Long Island home. He was friendly with Beers and her dysfunctional family before the abduction.
Originally posted 01/14/2013 02:15PM
Twenty years after she was kidnapped, forced into an damp, dark underground hole – 2 feet wide, 7 feet long and 3 feet high – and often held in chains, Katie Beers is speaking out at last about the hellish circumstances she survived.
"I felt it was time for me to tell my story," says the 30-year-old Beers, whose new memoir, Buried Memories, is being published by TitleTown Books and excerpted in the upcoming issue of PEOPLE.
Beers's case made headlines in in 1993 when her abductor, building contractor John Esposito, confessed and led police to the crude underground bunker, hidden by a 200-lb. concrete wall, he'd dug underneath his Long Island home – a genuine hell hole one FBI agent at the time described as something out of Silence of the Lambs.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
Ciara and Russell Wilson Hold Hands at White House State Dinner
Switched at Birth Star Constance Marie and Fiancé of 15 Years Kent Katich Split
The Surviving Waltons: Where Are They Now?
Katharine McPhee Heats Up Mexico During a Weekend Getaway with Her Friends
Khloé Kardashian Quits PETA after Flour Bombing of Kim Kardashian
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!