Monday, July 22, 2013

Sex offender due in court after bodies of 3 women found in Cleveland suburb

A Cleveland suburb is on edge after police found the bodies of three women who may have been murdered by a serial killer, NBC's Michelle Franzen reports.

By Gil Aegerter, Andrew Rafferty and Alastair Jamieson, NBC News

A registered sex offender was expected to be charged Monday after the discovery of three female bodies wrapped in garbage bags in an impoverished Cleveland suburb.

The search for more possible victims was called off late Sunday as investigators dealt with the city's third horrific case involving murdered women in four years.


Michael Madison, 35, is due to appear in court on Monday.

Michael Madison, 35, a registered sex offender, will appear in court Monday and is expected to be charged in connection with the deaths of the three black women whose bodies were discovered Friday and Saturday in the town of East Cleveland, NBC station WKYC reported.

Madison has confessed to at least one murder, WKYC reported.

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton told The Plain Dealer newspaper that Madison indicated in police interviews that he might have been influenced by Anthony Sowell, who is on death row for killing 11 women ages 24 to 52 at his home in the city.

Sowell, who is also a convicted sex offender, was captured in 2009. In court papers, prosecutors described him as "the worst offender in the history of Cuyahoga County and arguably the State of Ohio."

Two months ago, Cleveland was shocked by the escapes of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. Ariel Castro was charged with 977 counts in connection with the abduction and rape of the women, who were held captive in his Seymour Avenue home for more than a decade.

Police arrested Madison on Friday, hours after investigators found a woman's body in a garage. Two more bodies were discovered Saturday ? one in a backyard and the other in the basement of a vacant house.

Authorities continued looking for more possible victims into Sunday night before calling off the search, East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts told reporters.

"We officially found nothing," he said. "We will not pick up the search again."

During the search, a cadaver dog led investigators to a lot near the area where the three others bodies were found, according WKYC. Other cadaver dogs also hinted at the same area.

No identities were released, but all three victims were believed to have been killed in the past six to 10 days. The bodies were found about 100 to 200 yards apart.

Nathenia Crosby, 48, said Madison was a neighbor who concerned her because of his interest in her daughter.

"It's very scary, especially when he used to be talking to my daughter," she told the Associated Press. "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.'"

Teenager Daniqwa Martin told the Associated Press she smelled an odor near the house Tuesday but ignored it, thinking it was a dead animal. Martin, 16, said Madison had offered her a ride in the past but she always declined.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiners Office told reporters it may take up to several days as they work to?identify the?dead women because the bodies are in an advanced state of decomposition, WKYC said.

A news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET Monday.

NBC News' M. Alex Johnson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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