EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio – Three bodies have been found wrapped in plastic bags in a Cleveland suburb and police will continue a search for more victims today, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said.
The bodies were found about 100 to 200 yards apart and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, although he has not yet been charged, Norton said late Saturday.
The suspect is a registered sex offender and has served prison time, the mayor said. In police interviews, the man led them to believe he might have been influenced by convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell, Norton said.
“He said some things that led us to believe that in some way, shape, or form, Sowell might be an influence,” the mayor said.
Sowell was found guilty in 2011 of killing 11 women and hiding their remains around his Cleveland home. He was sentenced to death and is in an Ohio prison.
Asked if the suspect has a fascination with the Sowell case, the mayor said: “We believe so.”
Police Commander Mike Cardilli said a woman’s body was found Friday in a garage and two other bodies were found Saturday: one in a backyard and the other in a vacant home basement.
All three people are believed to have been killed in the last six to 10 days.
Police did not know the gender of the two bodies found Saturday and did not know the identities of any of the three victims. They were sent to the coroner’s office.
Norton said detectives continue to interview the suspect, who used his mother’s address in Cleveland, the mayor said, in registering as a sex offender.