Suspected cannibal dies in prison

April 14, 2008 5:30:01 AM PDT
A convicted sex offender once accused of killing and cannibalizing a boy has been found dead in his Montana prison cell.

Officials don't know what killed Nathaniel Bar-Jonah but they say he'd been in poor health.

The man was serving a 130-year sentence for kidnapping, sexually assaulting and choking a teenage neighbor.

Authorities had also charged him with murder in the 1996 disappearance of Zach Ramsay, alleging they had evidence he butchered the 10-year-old boy and put parts of his body in meals served to neighbors. But they had to drop the murder charge after Ramsay's mother told them she would testify that she believed her son was still alive.

Bar-Jonah moved to Montana after pleading guilty to kidnapping two boys in Massachusetts in the 1970s.

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APPHOTO MTGRE201 (12/04/06)

A: ** FILE ** Nathaniel Bar-Jonah looks back to defense attorneys during a recess in his sexual assault trial in Butte, Mont., Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2002. The convicted sex offender, who authorities accused of killing and cannibalizing a young boy in Great Falls, was found dead in his cell early Sunday, April 13, 2008 at the Montana State Prison.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)