(Tony Dejak/AP)

Suspect to Be Charged in Ohio Killings

Police searched several abandoned homes over the weekend and found the bodies of three women.

(Tony Dejak/AP)
By SHARE

Authorities arrested a man in Cleveland on Friday in connection with a female body they found in a plastic bag in a nearby garage.

East Cleveland police found the bodies of two more women, also wrapped in plastic, in the neighborhood on Saturday and searched about 40 abandoned and vacant homes before suspending their search on Sunday. Michael Madison, 35, was identified as a suspect, and is expected to be formally charged on Monday, according to CBS News.

This undated photo provided by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff Department shows Michael Madison, a registered sex offender suspected in the murders of three Cleveland-area women.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office said in a statement that all three bodies were in "states of advanced decomposition," and that it may be several days before autopsies can be completed and the women are identified.

[READ: Charges Expected in Grisly Ohio Bodies Discovery]

Police said during a news conference on Saturday that the two additional bodies are believed to be linked to the first discovery. All women died within the last six to 10 days, police said.

"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," Mayor Gary Norton told CNN.

East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts said the suspect has not been cooperative during questioning, according to local CBS affiliate WOIO.

Madison, a registered sex offender, was arrested on Friday after a short standoff with police at his mother's house. He also pleaded guilty to a 2002 charge of attempted rape, but made a plea bargain for a four-year sentence, WOIO reported.

[READ: Recent Notorious Cases in Cleveland Area]

Norton also told CNN that Madison had "idolized" Anthony Sowell, a serial killer who was sentenced to death for killing 11 women in the same county in Ohio.

"Unfortunately, this is a sick individual who appears to have been influenced by another sick individual," Norton told CNN. "If he had been out for one more hour, there's no telling what would have happened."

 

Spotts told CNN that police have been receiving tips from the public, some from women who said they escaped when Madison had been in their houses.

A neighbor who initially alerted police about a foul smell in the garage where the first body was discovered said he knew Madison and once got into an argument with the man.

[VIDEO: Cleveland Kidnapping Victims Thank Supporters]

"From what I know, he was an OK person when I first met him. And then from there, he actually, he had a lot of conflicts with different girls that he knew," Child told CNN. "After my conflict with him, I always watched him. I never turned my back because you never know."

Cleveland is the same city where former bus driver Ariel Castro, 53, allegedly kidnapped three women and raped them repeatedly while holding them captive for 10 years.

On July 17, Castro appeared in court for his second arraignment, where he pleaded not guilty to a 977-count indictment. Prosecutors had previously charged Castro on 329 counts, to which he also pleaded not guilty.

More News: