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3 bodies discovered in East Cleveland

Mgn Online
Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 11:43am

Three bodies have been discovered in East Cleveland, police say -- and a man is in custody in connection with the case.

All three victims appear to be young black women, their decomposing bodies wrapped in layers of plastic and taped up, according to authorities. So far police have been unable to identify any of the victims.

Two bodies were found Saturday, one in the basement of an abandoned house, the other in a field nearby. The first victim was found Friday in a garage on the same block after police received a call about a foul odor.

The first victim was found naked with indications of trauma, police say. The second victim was found wearing a green hoodie, and the third was wearing a leopard print leotard.

A car in the garage where the first victim was found led investigators to a suspect who was arrested after a standoff with police, CNN affiliate WOIO reported.

The suspect, identified as 35-year-old Michael Madison, was convicted of attempted rape in 2001 and is a registered sex-offender, police say.

CNN could not immediately reach a representative for Madison.

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton believes the killings happened over a 10 day period.

"One of the things that makes us believe it's the same suspect is the way that they were all wrapped... and the same concealment of each of the victims," he said.

According to Norton, Madison "idolized" convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell. Sowell was sentenced to death in 2011 for killing 11 women in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

"This guy would kill again if we hadn't caught him," Norton said Sunday.

Authorities searched the East Cleveland neighborhood again Saturday after Madison alluded to more bodies.

"We're pretty confident through interviewing [Madison] that he has direct involvement, but we're not certain if he had an accomplice or not," Scott Gardner, lead detective with the East Cleveland major crimes unit told CNN.

No charges have been filed and police are continuing to search the area. "We hope and pray that there are no more [bodies]," the mayor said.

East Cleveland is seven miles northeast of Cleveland, Ohio. The city, incorporated in 1911, occupies three square miles. According to 2010 census data, the city of almost 18,000 is predominately African-American and has the highest poverty rate in Cuyahoga County.

CNN's calls to the Cleveland office of the FBI were not immediately returned. 

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