Police hunt for bodies after three women strangled
A CLEVELAND police chief told volunteers checking vacant houses where three bodies were found wrapped in plastic bags that he believes there could be more victims.
Police Chief Ralph Spotts told the searchers to be alert for smells of rotting and for trash bags that might conceal a body. He declined to elaborate on other possible victims.
East Cleveland mayor, Gary Norton, said authorities had reasons to suspect there were more but refused to say why.
A 35-year-old registered sex offender arrested after a police stand-off on Friday is a suspect in the deaths, Mr Norton said.
The suspect, from East Cleveland, has indicated he might have been influenced by Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to death, Mr Norton said.
In the most recent case, one body was found on Friday in a garage. Two others were found on Saturday – one in a backyard and the other in the basement of a vacant house. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 90 to 180 metres apart, and authorities believe the victims were killed in the last six to 10 days.
Sowell was found guilty in 2011 of killing 11 women and hiding their remains around his Cleveland home from June 2007 to July 2009.
Police found their mostly nude bodies throughout the house after a woman escaped and said she had been raped there.
Sowell's victims ranged in age from 24 to 52, all were recovering or current drug addicts and most died of strangulation. Some had been decapitated.