Three bodies, all wrapped in plastic, were found in a Cleveland, Ohio, suburb within a couple hundred yards of each other, police say. All three bodies found were in the fetal position and all died within the last two weeks. The Associated Press reported (via Yahoo News) July 21 that police resumed searching the East Cleveland neighborhood where the three as yet unidentified bodies were found beginning on Friday.
Police were searching and questioning house-to-house after recovering one body Friday evening and another two on Saturday. All three bodies found have been characterized as black and possibly all female. A medical examination is scheduled to determine the particulars.
After arresting a 35-year-old man following a stand-off in Cleveland Friday, police learned that he may have been influenced to commit the killings by the actions of Anthony Sowell, the serial killer sentenced to death in 2011 for the kidnappings, murders, and mutilation of 11 women in Cleveland. According to East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton, the man was a registered sex offender.
“He said some things that led us to believe that in some way, shape, or form, Sowell might be an influence,” Norton said.
Norton also said that the body found Friday was in a garage. On Saturday, one body was found in a backyard, the other in the basement of a vacant house. All had been killed within the last 6-to-10 days.
But there was a reason for the continued searching of the neighborhood in question, the mayor suggested. “The person in custody,” Norton supplied, “some of the things he said to investigators made us go back today.”
The man in custody would later be identified as Michael Madison, according to WOIO television, who admitted to a man he was formerly incarcerated with that he admired Anthony Sowell.
WOIO reported that police had been called to garage where a body had been found wrapped in a plastic bag. Police noted the license number on the car next to the body and traced the car to Michael Madison.
Madison was arrested after police went to his house and had to break down the door of his mother’s house in Cleveland to get to him, WOIO recounted in another report.
Madison, a registered sex offender, used his mother’s address as his place of residence while he allegedly killed in East Cleveland. According to WOIO, Madison pleaded guilty to rape in 2002 and received a 4-year sentence in a deal. He also has several drug convictions.
Mayor Norton said that there were many abandoned buildings in the East Cleveland neighborhood where the killings took place. Authorities were wanting to be thorough with their search before bringing it to a conclusion.
“Hopefully, we pray to God, this is it,” Norton said.