Death row inmate convicted of murdering 8 women found dead in cell

A convicted killer awaiting execution in California apparently killed himself over the weekend, San Quentin State Prison officials say.

Andrew Urdiales, 54, was found unresponsive during a security check about 11:15 p.m. Friday, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

Guards tried CPR on him, but the inmate was pronounced dead. Investigators say he had been kept alone in his cell.

Urdiales was sentenced to death last month.

In the 1980s and ’90s, he killed five women while stationed with the US Marine Corps in various Southern California locations.

He was arrested in Illinois and sentenced to die there in 1996 for killing three women in four months. That sentence was commuted to life in prison when Illinois outlawed capital punishment, CNN affiliate KTLA reported. Urdiales was then extradited to California to stand trial for the earlier string of murders.

“Urdiales was a monster who did not deserve to breathe the same air we all enjoy,” Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said. “He remained a callous coward until the end as he robbed the victims’ families of the right to be present when the state put him to death.”

Officials said they are investigating his death as a suicide, although the cause will need to be determined by an autopsy.

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