July 21, 2013

Search for bodies ends in East Cleveland neighborhood

A suspect is in custody, and police identified him today as Michael Madison, a 35-year-old registered sex offender.

The Associated Press

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East Cleveland police officers search a neighborhood Sunday near where three bodies were recently found. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards apart. A 35-year-old man was arrested and is expected to be charged Monday.

The Associated Press

"The person in custody, some of the things he said to investigators made us go back today," the mayor said.

The police, FBI, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department went through yards and abandoned houses over about three blocks Saturday and used dogs trained to find cadavers. They planned to expand the search Sunday.

The neighborhood in East Cleveland, which has some 17,000 residents, has many abandoned houses and authorities want to be thorough, the mayor said.

"Hopefully, we pray to God, this is it," he said.

The Cleveland area has had its share of gruesome news in recent years. In May, three women who separately vanished a decade ago were found captive in a run-down house. Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver, has been charged with nearly 1,000 counts of kidnap, rape and other crimes.

Castro is accused of repeatedly restraining the women, sometimes chaining them to a pole in a basement, to a bedroom heater or inside a van. The charges say one of the women tried to escape and he assaulted her with a vacuum cord around her neck. He also fathered a daughter with one captive, authorities said.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

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