10th body found at Cleveland rapist’s home

November 4th, 2009 by

www.cbc.ca –Four more bodies and a skull have been found at the Cleveland property of a convicted rapist, who has now been charged with aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping.
Tuesday’s discovery brings the total to 10 bodies found so far at the home of 50-year-old Anthony Sowell.

Police Chief Michael McGrath said the additional bodies were found in Sowell’s backyard. The skull was found in a bucket in the basement.

Authorities do not know whether the skull belongs to an 11th victim, said police spokesman Lt. Thomas Stacho.

Sowell, who is in jail, was charged Tuesday with five counts of aggravated murder and with rape, felonious assault and kidnapping.

The bodies of six women were discovered at Sowell’s home last week after a woman reported being raped at the house.

Sowell had spent 15 years in prison for a 1989 rape. As a registered sex offender, Sowell is required to check in regularly at the sheriff’s office. Officers didn’t have the right to enter his house, but they would stop by to make sure he was there.

Most found in house

Police discovered three bodies after they arrived at the house to investigate the rape complaint, and they later found three more.

One of the bodies was found in a shallow grave in the backyard. The rest were in the house — one in the basement, two in the third-floor living room and two in an upstairs crawl space, Stacho said.

The bodies could have been there for weeks, months or years, said Powell Caesar, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County coroner. All the victims were women and five were strangled.

On Tuesday, detectives brought in cadaver dogs and digging equipment to scour the home and backyard, looking for evidence to connect Sowell to the bodies, Stacho said.

Authorities also were searching vacant homes within a few kilometres of the home, which is in a crowded inner-city neighbourhood of mostly older houses. Police did not say why they were searching the vacant homes or indicate whether they believe more bodies could be found.

The search was to continue Wednesday, with fire department crews planning to search in the walls of the home, McGrath said.

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