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Foul odor leads Ohio authorities to grisly find

  • East Cleveland residents watch the scene  Sunday, July 21, 2013, close to where three bodies were recently found in East Cleveland, Ohio. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    East Cleveland residents watch the scene Sunday, July 21, 2013, close to where three bodies were recently found in East Cleveland, Ohio. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • East Cleveland police officers search a neighborhood Sunday, July 21, 2013, near where three bodies were recently found, in East Cleveland, Ohio. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    East Cleveland police officers search a neighborhood Sunday, July 21, 2013, near where three bodies were recently found, in East Cleveland, Ohio. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • East Cleveland police search near where three bodies were recently found Sunday, July 21, 2013, in East Cleveland, Ohio. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    East Cleveland police search near where three bodies were recently found Sunday, July 21, 2013, in East Cleveland, Ohio. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • A garage is shown Sunday, July 21, 2013, where a body was found recently in East Cleveland, Ohio.  The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    A garage is shown Sunday, July 21, 2013, where a body was found recently in East Cleveland, Ohio. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • East Cleveland residents watch the scene  Sunday, July 21, 2013, close to where three bodies were recently found in East Cleveland, Ohio. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • East Cleveland police officers search a neighborhood Sunday, July 21, 2013, near where three bodies were recently found, in East Cleveland, Ohio. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • East Cleveland police search near where three bodies were recently found Sunday, July 21, 2013, in East Cleveland, Ohio. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • A garage is shown Sunday, July 21, 2013, where a body was found recently in East Cleveland, Ohio.  The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 100 to 200 yards (90 to 180 meters) apart, and a 35-year-old man was arrested and is a suspect in all three deaths, though he has not yet been charged, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Authorities responding to a report of a foul odor from a home discovered a body and arrested a registered sex offender who sent the police and volunteers through a poor Ohio neighborhood in a search for more victims, officials said yesterday.

East Cleveland police Chief Ralph Spotts had cautioned searchers yesterday to be prepared to find one or two more victims, but he declined to elaborate. But after a daylong search that included 40 abandoned houses and other areas, no more bodies were found.

Spotts identified the suspect as Michael Madison, 35. He said Madison is expected to be formally charged today.

Mayor Gary Norton said the suspect has indicated he might have been influenced by Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 of murdering 11 women and sentenced to death.

It’s the latest in a series of high-profile cases involving the disappearance of women from the Cleveland area.

One body was found Friday in a garage. Two others were found Saturday – one in a backyard and the other in the basement of a vacant house. The three female bodies, all wrapped in plastic bags, were found about 100 to 200 yards apart, and authorities believe the victims were killed in the last six to 10 days.

Searchers rummaging through vacant houses in the same neighborhood yesterday were warned by Spotts to brace themselves for the smell of rotting bodies and to look out for trash bags that might conceal a body. He declined to elaborate on his comments about the possible additional victims.

Spotts indicated later yesterday the suspect’s comments haven’t provided clarity on whether more bodies might be found. “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,” Spotts said.

Norton said authorities have “lots of reasons” to suspect there are more victims, but he refused to say why.

Norton said the suspect, who was arrested Friday after a police standoff, has indicated to authorities he might have been influenced by Sowell.

“He said some things that led us to believe that in some way, shape, or form, Sowell might be an influence,” Norton told the Associated Press.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Madison has an attorney, and no one was commenting yesterday afternoon at the address he registered.

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