EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio Police on Monday charged a man who they say might have been influenced by a local serial killer after three bodies were found in a low income neighborhood.
Three charges of aggravated murder have been made against 35-year-old Michael Madison.
East Cleveland Police via WOIO
At a press conference Monday morning East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton described the suspect as “an individual who has no regard for human life.”
One of the three victims — whose bodies were said by the medical examiner to have been “very decomposed” — was identified from fingerprints as Angela Deskins, a 38-year-old resident of Cleveland who was reported missing last month. Deskins was victim number two, whose body was recovered on Saturday.
Autopsies on the victims were completed as of Sunday.
Authorities asked for the public’s assistance in helping to identify another of the victims by her tattoos, which include two featuring the name “Dene.” Anyone with information is asked to call 1 (800) CALL FBI.
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The search for additional bodies was suspended Sunday after police and volunteers scoured about 40 empty homes, with no immediate plans to resume, said East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts.
Spotts said Madison hasn’t been cooperative during questioning, reports CBS Cleveland affiliate WOIO .
Mayor Gary Norton said the suspect has indicated he might have been influenced by Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 of murdering 11 women and sentenced to death.
It’s the latest in a series of high-profile cases involving the disappearance of women from the Cleveland area.
Eric Wilson, a neighbor who saw Madison frequently, said Madison threatened about a month ago to attack women in the same fashion as Sowell.
Wilson and others said Madison was a neighborhood fixture, constantly walking up and down streets and seen everywhere.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Madison has an attorney. A woman at a small white house at the address Madison used in the state sex offender database answered a few questions through the blinds of a window Sunday, refusing to come out or give her name. She identified herself as a family member, and said the family was shocked by the allegations.
An odor led to the discovery Friday of one body in a garage. Two others were found Saturday one in a backyard and the other in the basement of a vacant house. The bodies of the three women, all wrapped in plastic bags, were found about 100 to 200 yards apart, and authorities believed the victims were killed in the last six to 10 days.
Teenager Daniqwa Martin said she smelled the odor 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.
Spotts indicated later Sunday that the suspect’s comments haven’t provided clarity on whether more bodies might be found.
“He really hasn’t stated that there’s any more, but he hasn’t said anything that would make us think that there’s not,” Spotts said.
Norton said authorities have “lots of reasons” to suspect there are more victims, but he refused to say why.