"...bodies of three black women have been found wrapped in plasticsince Friday."
The macabre hunt for victims continued Sunday in a gritty
section of East Cleveland, Ohio, where the bodies of three black
women have been found wrapped in plastic since Friday.
Police Chief Ralph Spotts said the search targeted scores of
abandoned homes in the area. Dozens of officers and volunteers
were warned to be alert for the smell of rotting bodies.
It's possible that one or two more bodies could be found, Spotts
Two days earlier, police were involved in a standoff with a
suspect that ended in the arrest of Michael Madison, 35, though
no charges had been filed.
Madison told investigators that he was influenced by serial
killer Anthony Sowell, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said.
Sowell is awaiting execution after being convicted in 2011 of
killing 11 women and hiding their remains in his Cleveland home.
A report of a foul odor emanating from a home led police to the
discovery of the first body, found Friday in a garage, and to
the suspect. Two other bodies were found Saturday — one in a
backyard and the other in the basement of a vacant house. The
victims were killed in the last six to 10 days, police said.
The bodies were each in the fetal position, wrapped in several
layers of trash bags, Norton said. He said detectives continue
to interview the suspect, who used his mother's address in
Cleveland in registering as a sex offender, the mayor said.
"The person in custody, some of the things he said to
investigators made us go back today," Norton said.
The neighborhood has many abandoned houses and authorities want
to be thorough, the mayor said. "Hopefully, we pray to God, this
is it," he said.
The FBI and state law enforcement officials were assisting East
Cleveland police in the investigation. The Cuyahoga Medical
Examiners Office said it may take several days to identify the
remains already found.
Cleveland.com reports that Madison was a registered sex offender
who pleaded guilty to attempted rape more than a decade ago. He
was given the least serious offender status, which requires
registration once a year for 10 years, the website said. His
local criminal history otherwise includes drug possession and
trafficking, the website reported.
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