Another horrific story coming out of Cleveland. Police have discovered three bodies of what appear to be young black women. One body was found on Friday in a carport after police got a call about a foul smell. The second and third bodies were found Saturday -- one in the basement of an abandoned house on the same block; the third in a weedy field near the house.
Police believe all the victims were killed in the last 6 to 10 days. All three bodies were found in the fetal position wrapped in several layers of trash bags. The cause of their deaths has not been determined.
A suspect is in custody.
After a 2-hour standoff on Friday, cops arrested a 35-year-old registered sex offender who was convicted of attempted rape 12 years ago. They have not charged him with anything yet and they're not sure whether he had an accomplice, though they are looking into the possibility. No other arrests have been made and the victims have not been identified. However, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton has given the following details.
The victim found in the field had a tattoo of a pink flower with green leaves on the left thigh; the victim found in the carport was 5'3, 110 pounds; and the victim found in the basement was wearing a purple leopard print shirt.
During interviews with the suspect, police learned that he was fascinated by and may have been influenced by convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell, who -- in 2011 -- was found guilty of killing 11 women and hiding their remains around his Cleveland home. Sowell, sentenced to death, is in prison in Ohio.
The neighborhood in Cleveland in which police found the bodies has many abandoned homes and authorities have been doing a thorough search for more bodies. Members of the police department, the FBI, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the sheriff's department went through yards and abandoned houses yesterday with dogs trained to find dead bodies.
They will continue the search today.
"We hope and pray that there are no more," the mayor said.
Image via 19 Action News