A suspect identified by police as a registered sex offender is in custody after three bodies were found wrapped in plastic bags in an East Cleveland neighborhood, and a police chief says he expects formal charges to be filed today.
Here is a look at some of the most recent high-profile cases involving the disappearances of women from the Cleveland area:
Anthony Sowell was arrested Oct. 31, 2009, after police investigating a woman’s report that she had been raped at his house began finding bodies. Eventually, the remains of 11 troubled women were discovered. Prosecutors say that the victims began disappearing in 2007 and that Sowell lured them to his home with the promise of alcohol or drugs. The victims were disposed of in garbage bags and plastic sheets, then dumped in various parts of the house and yard. Sowell was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to death in the women’s murders. He now sits on death row.
In May of this year, a woman missing for a decade escaped from a run-down Cleveland home, saying she and two other women had been held captive there for years. Former school-bus driver Ariel Castro later was charged with nearly 1,000 counts of kidnapping, rape and other crimes. The three women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. Each said she had accepted a ride from Castro, who fathered a daughter, now 6, with one of the women. He has pleaded not guilty and is jailed on $8 million bond.
And on Friday, a report of a foul odor at an East Cleveland home led police to the discovery of one body and the arrest of a suspect, identified by Police Chief Ralph Spotts as Michael Madison, who engaged authorities in a standoff. Two other bodies were found in the same neighborhood Saturday — one in a backyard and the other in the basement of a vacant house. The three bodies, all female, were wrapped in trash bags. Spotts says the 35-year-old Madison is a registered sex offender. He was in custody Sunday, and Spotts said he expects charges to be formally filed today. Mayor Gary Norton said the suspect made comments that he might have been influenced by Sowell. Searchers did not uncover any more bodies Sunday. Police did not plan to continue the search today.
Source: Associated Press