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Killing of 3 brings toll to 12



Published: Wed, October 25, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



TOLEDO (AP) -- Three men were killed, either shot or stabbed, early Tuesday inside a boarded-up house where neighbors say they occasionally saw a black stretch limousine pull up and drop off people.

The deaths brought the number of killings in the city over the last five weeks to 12. Police have tied several of the past murders to drug deals.

At the scene of the latest killings about a mile north of downtown, neighbors said visitors would come and go through the house's back door at all hours, neighbors said,

"I saw that all the time," Richard Christien said. "They were pretty quiet about what they were doing."

He said the neighbors would occasionally call police about the activity and officers would stop by at least once a month. They told police they believed there was drug activity at the house, police Capt. Diana Ruiz-Krause said.

What neighbors said

Another neighbor reported hearing shots about 4:15 a.m., Ruiz-Krause said. One witness saw two people leaving the house through the backyard, she said.

Police were attempting to identify the victims through fingerprints. Two had been shot and one had been stabbed, Chief Mike Navarre said. All three appeared to be in their early 40s.

One victim may have been living at the house without permission, Christien said. Inside, it was mostly empty with no furniture. On the outside, plywood sheets covered the first-floor windows and the front door.

Sally Powers, whose mother lives across the street, said she was planting beans in a garden this past spring when the house was boarded up. In the months after, she too saw people lingering around the house.

The killings come a month after a string of nine murders in nine days in mid-September, including the shooting of a 27-year-old mother whose two children were in her apartment when she was shot.

A city garbage worker has been charged in the woman's death.




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