Search Ends After 3 Bodies Found In Cleveland, Suspect Identified

A search for additional remains has been called off after authorities found three bodies in a Cleveland neighborhood on Friday and Saturday. Police have also released the name of the suspect in the three deaths, Michael Madison, 35. All three victims were young black women.

The first body was found on Friday after neighbors reported a foul odor coming from an abandoned house in East Cleveland. Police say that body was found in a garage naked with indications of trauma.

The two remaining victims were found during a search of abandoned houses on Saturday. One victim was wearing a green hoodie and the other was wearing a leopard print leotard. The garage where the first of three bodies were found was leased to Madison.

Madison was arrested on Friday after a standoff with police. They received a search warrant for the suspect’s apartment. Upon entering, police say they found additional signs of decomposition.

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton spoke with CNN about the three bodies found in the city. He stated of the suspect, “We are dealing with a sick individual and we have reason to believe that there might be more victims.”

But despite extensive searches on Sunday, police called off the search for additional remains after they were unsuccessful. Police announced that Michael Madison is a registered sex offender. He was convicted of attempted rape in 2001. They have also said that Madison was influenced by convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell, whom the suspect apparently idolized.

Norton added that the Cleveland victims were all killed in the past six to 10 days. He further stated, “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.” All three bodies were found wrapped in plastic bags and lying in the fetal position.

Earlier in the day, searchers were told to expect one or two more victims, according to The Huffington Post. However, the search that included more than 40 abandoned houses in the same area came up empty. East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts stated that Michael Madison hasn’t indicated whether or not there are more bodies to be discovered. He explained, “He really hasn’t stated that there’s any more, but he hasn’t said anything that would make us think that there’s not.”

However, Norton has said that authorities have “lots of reasons” to suspect there are more victims. There has been no explanation for why. Madison is expected to appear in court on Monday. Identification and final cause of death of the three bodies found in Cleveland this weekend is expected to take several days.

[Image via ShutterStock]