News

Ohio police end search for more victims in wrapped-bodies case

Ohio police end search for more victims in wrapped-bodies case

Police in Cleveland called off a search after failing to find more possible victims of a suspected killer. Photo: Reuters

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (Reuters) – Police in East Cleveland, Ohio, called off a search on Sunday after failing to find more possible victims of a suspected killer who left three women’s bodies, wrapped in plastic bags, around a run-down neighborhood.

Dozens of officers and volunteers spent hours searching weeded lots, railroad tracks and dozens of buildings.

“We officially found nothing,” East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts said.

Mayor Gary Norton said earlier that Michael Madison, 35, had been arrested as a suspect after authorities in the past two days found the bodies near the apartment building where the suspect lived. Neighbors’ complaints of a “pungent” smell triggered the search.

Spotts told reporters that charges against Madison were expected to be filed on Monday.

The bodies, two of which were found by trained cadaver-smelling dogs, were located in a garage, the basement of a building and in a weeded lot around the building where Madison lived.

Madison is a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty to attempted rape in 2002 according to Cuyahoga County court records. He was arrested after a stand-off at his mother’s home not far from the crime scene Saturday. He is now in an East Cleveland jail.

The bodies were “in states of advanced decomposition,” the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said in a statement, adding, “Because of this, identification and final cause of death may take several days.”

The discoveries were reminiscent of a 2009 incident, when 11 bodies were found around the home of Cleveland’s Anthony Sowell, who was convicted of murder two years later.

Volunteers turned out to search the area on Sunday at police request.

Velvet Farmer, 21, said she has a cousin who lives on the street and had spoken to Madison, who told her his name was “Ivan.”

She said she was shocked to learn he is a suspect adding, “I’m glad to be alive.”

A local Fox TV news affiliate quoted another woman, Nathenia Crosby, as saying she also knew Madison as “Ivan” and that she heard him saying he admired Sowell while at her house for July 4th festivities.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Environmental groups sue over plan to kill wolves

Fresh
generic wolves

Five environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the federal government challenging its authority to kill endangered wolves in Washington state.

in Local

Washington House readies its version of pot market overhaul

Fresh
In this graphic provided by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, a logo that will be used for labeling legal marijuana produced in Washington state is shown. Officials released a preliminary draft of regulations for growing and selling legalized marijuana Thursday, May 16, 2013. Voters last November made Washington and Colorado the first states to legalize the sale of taxed marijuana to adults over 21 at state-licensed stores.

With the state Senate passing a bill to regulate medical marijuana, Washington's House of Representatives is preparing its version of a pot-market overhaul.

in Local

Washington House votes to raise hourly minimum wage to $12

Fresh
pay day

The Washington state House has voted to raise the state's minimum wage to $12 an hour.

in Local

Washington House passes bill to require paid sick leave

Updated
sick girl

The Washington state House has passed a bill requiring many of the state's employers to offer employees paid sick leave.

in Local

Senate OKs labor law exemption to Western Hockey League

A puck lies on the ice before a face-off in the third period of an NHL hockey game between the Nashville Predators and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, March 23, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. The Predators won 5-2.

WHL teams Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, Tri-City Americans and Everett Silvertips say might have to leave if law isn't changed