Six bodies in rapist's house were murder victims

Six women whose badly-decomposed bodies were found at the home of a convicted rapist had been murdered, medical experts said.

At least five of the women found in the house in Cleveland, Ohio, had apparently been strangled, said Powell Caesar, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County coroner. Decomposition made it difficult to determine how the sixth died, he said.



The bodies "could have been there anywhere from weeks to months to years", Mr Caesar said.



Mr Caesar said two victims were black but the race of the others had not been determined.



Anthony Sowell, a 50-year-old registered sex offender, was arrested on Saturday when officers spotted him walking down the street of his east-side neighbourhood.



No charges have yet been filed regarding the bodies.



The gruesome discovery left some in the community concerned about women who they had not seen in a long time. Ida Garrett, 72, remembered a friend who was reported missing in April. "I think one of them is her," she said.



The first bodies were found on Thursday night when police went to Sowell's home to arrest him on new charges of rape and felonious assault, but he was not there.



The woman in that alleged attack said she knew Sowell and was raped at the house.



Sowell previously spent 15 years in prison for choking and raping a 21-year-old woman who was lured to his bedroom in 1989, police said.



As a registered sex offender, Sowell was required to check in regularly at the sheriff's office, which said he complied. Officers also visited his home, most recently on September 22, just hours before the woman reported being raped there.



But since Sowell was not on parole or probation, they did not have the right to enter his house - until Thursday when they had search and arrest warrants.



The three-storey house is in a crowded inner-city neighbourhood of mostly older homes, some boarded up, and small corner shops.



The windows of the third floor, where the first two bodies were found, were wide open yesterday as a slight breeze blew. Some neighbours said a bad smell came from the house several months ago, but they thought then that it might be natural gas.



Ms Garrett said the neighbourhood was relieved by the arrest but worried about those missing, including one of her friends, Nancy Cobbs, 43.



Ms Cobbs lived one street away from the Sowell home. and was reported missing in April.



Sowell often walked around his neighbourhood asking for money and looking for scrap metal to sell, neighbours said.



He returned to the family home in 2005 after his release from prison. The house was owned by two of Sowell's relatives, including a woman - described by neighbours as either Sowell's stepmother or aunt - who kept it up.



Neighbours said the woman moved into a nursing home after Sowell was released from prison.



Teresa Hicks, a neighbour, said people feared that she might be dead.

Source: The Belfast Telegraph

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Java Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...

SAP Functional Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £45,000 - £55,000.

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Functional ...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn