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Womens Bodies Found In Garbage Bags In Cleveland

Posted by on Jul. 21, 2013 at 10:17 PM
  • 13 Replies

Ohio chief says 1 or 2 more bodies could be found

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East Cleveland residents watch the scene Sunday, July 21, 2013, close to where three bodies were recently found in East Cleveland, Ohio. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

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Associated Press

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) — Searchers rummaging through vacant houses in a neighborhood where three female bodies were found wrapped in plastic bags should be prepared to find one or two more victims, a police chief said Sunday. Police Chief Ralph Spotts told the volunteers to brace themselves for the smell of rotting bodies and to look out for trash bags that might conceal a body. He declined to elaborate on his comments about the possible additional victims. When asked about Spotts' remark, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said authorities have "lots of reasons" to suspect there are more victims, but he refused to say why.

A 35-year-old registered sex offender in custody is a suspect in the deaths, Norton said. The suspect, who was arrested Friday after a police standoff, has indicated he might have been influenced by Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 of killing 11 women and sentenced to death, Norton said. "He said some things that led us to believe that in some way, shape, or form, Sowell might be an influence," Norton told The Associated Press. The man hasn't been charged. A report of a foul odor emanating from a home led police to the discovery of the first body, found 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 bodies, all female, were found about 100 to 200 yards apart, and authorities say the victims were killed in the last six to 10 days. 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," the mayor said. Cuyahoga County medical examiner Dr. Thomas P. Gilson said Sunday that the bodies were in advanced stages of decomposition and that it would take several days to identify them and how they died.

About three dozen volunteers, including community anti-crime activists, fanned out Sunday morning across yards, through vacant houses and along a railroad to help police search. The chief advised them to watch for missing floor boards as they looked inside houses. One young searcher crawled under a board screwed across a door to go inside a house to search. "The MO of each body we've found so far was wrapped up in a lot of garbage bags, so if you see anything .... and it might not look like it's a body, but it could be — because each bag, the way he had each person was in a fetal position," Spotts told searchers before they began. "It didn't look like a person could actually fit in the bag."

Pam Butcher, 55, said she came out to help search her neighborhood because she was disturbed by the death and said she knew other volunteers were, too. "They are concerned because it could have been one of their family members," she said. "It could have been one of their kids. It could have been one of their nieces. It could have been one of their aunts." One neighbor, Nathenia Crosby, said she was familiar with the suspect and had seen him walking through the neighborhood. She said she had told him to stop chatting with her daughter and warned him after seeing him talk to her cousin. "It's very scary, especially when he used to be talking to my daughter," said Crosby, 48. "But I told him he was too old to be talking to my daughter because she was only 19. When I found out how old he was, I said, 'You need to move on, she's too young.' " The police, FBI, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department went through yards and abandoned houses over about three blocks Saturday and used dogs trained to find cadavers.

The neighborhood in East Cleveland, which has some 17,000 residents, has many abandoned houses and authorities want to be thorough, the mayor said. "Hopefully, we pray to God, this is it," he said. It's the third recent high-profile case in the Cleveland area that involves missing women.

In May, three women who separately vanished a decade ago were found captive in a run-down house. Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver, has pleaded not guilty to nearly 1,000 counts of kidnap, rape and other crimes. In 2009, Sowell was arrested after a woman escaped from his house and said she had been raped there. Police found the mostly nude bodies of 11 women in garbage bags and plastic sheets throughout the home. Prosecutors described him in court papers as "the worst offender in the history of Cuyahoga County and arguably the State of Ohio." He was found guilty in 2011 and sentenced to death. _

by on Jul. 21, 2013 at 10:17 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Silver Member on Jul. 21, 2013 at 10:43 PM
That is so sad. I hope the cretin in custody really is the killer so no more women are killed.
by AllieCat on Jul. 21, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Honestly, not even sure what to say with some thing like this.

by Platinum Member on Jul. 21, 2013 at 11:02 PM

You really wonder what happened to make someone develope into a monster like this.  Did someone torture him or her or were they born with some malformation?  I just shutter to think they were allowed to go on without a diagnose or professional help.

by Esther on Jul. 22, 2013 at 12:08 AM

Really creepy stuff. Why are all of these nutjobs coming out of Ohio too?! It's scary!

by Maya on Jul. 22, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Wow. That's so sad.
by "Dude!" on Jul. 22, 2013 at 12:28 AM
1 mom liked this
*will never move to Cleveland*
by Ruby Member on Jul. 22, 2013 at 12:46 AM

I'm actually surprised i was the first to post this.

by Thatwoman on Jul. 22, 2013 at 12:49 AM


And then there is the unfortunate words of the Chief: one or two may be found...


Does the Chief know something that we're not being told? Is 1-2 the limit or the casual estimate? 


by Platinum Member on Jul. 22, 2013 at 1:56 AM

If it turns out these women were sex workers, I just might pull my hair out. 

They are so vulnerable to this shit. When are we going to wake the fuck up and get people off the street? Get addicts into clinic's. Get more economic development. And yes, get some more fucking welfare so women are not forced to sell their bodies just to get food in their bellies or the bellies of their children. When you cut the safety net, this is the kind of shit that happens. 

I'm so pissed. So fucking pissed. I hate this!! These women were not trash but our society treats them that way. Oh my fucking God I'm gonna lose my shit over here. 

If they weren't sex workers, it's still bad and I'm still pissed. Just more violence against women. I fucking hate this. 

by Ruby Member on Jul. 22, 2013 at 2:56 AM
Hmm... Ohio.
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