A foul odor initially led police to a home in East Cleveland, where they discovered three bodies. Police arrested 35-year-old Michael Madison, a registered sex offender, in connection with the murders and said they will be searching for more bodies.
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After a two-hour standoff with police, Madison was taken into custody. He is expected to be charged with the murders some time today. Police have not said what led them to suspect Madison, but said that he may have been influenced by serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted of murdering 11 women in the Cleveland area. He was sentenced to death in 2011.
"He said some things that led us to believe that in some way, shape, or form, Sowell might be an influence," Mayor Gary Norton told the Associated Press.
The bodies of three women, all wrapped in plastic bags, were found 100 to 200 yards apart. Police are still trying to determine their identities and exactly how they died. There was evidence to substantiate the belief that the bodies were thrown out of a window.
"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," East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts told volunteer searchers. "It didn't look like a person could actually fit in the bag."
Madison was convicted in 2000 and 2001 for drug-related charges and named a sex offender in 2002 after being sentenced to four years in prison for attempted rape.
The discovery of three bodies brings to mind the rescue of several hostages who were held by Ariel Castro. Castro has pleaded not guilty to the hundreds of charges against him in the kidnapping, rape, and torture of his three victims.
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