Tenth Body Found At Cleveland Rapist's Home

Four more bodies and a skull have been found at the Cleveland property of a convicted rapist, who has now been charged with aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping.Convicted rapist Anthony Sowell, 50, is under arrest
tenth body found at cleveland rapist s home -...
PTI November 04, 2009 15:17 IST

Four more bodies and a skull have been found at the Cleveland property of a convicted rapist, who has now been charged with aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping.

Convicted rapist Anthony Sowell, 50, is under arrest after up to 10 bodies are recovered from his house and property in Cleveland.

Tuesday's discovery brings the total to 10 bodies found so far at the home of 50-year-old Anthony Sowell.

Police Chief Michael McGrath said the additional bodies were found in Sowell's backyard. The skull was found in a bucket in the basement.

Authorities do not know whether the skull belongs to an 11th victim, said police spokesman Lt. Thomas Stacho.

Sowell, who is in jail, was charged Tuesday with five counts of aggravated murder and with rape, felonious assault and kidnapping.

The bodies of six women were discovered at Sowell's home last week after a woman reported being raped at the house.

Sowell had spent 15 years in prison for a 1989 rape. As a registered sex offender, Sowell is required to check in regularly at the sheriff's office. Officers didn't have the right

to enter his house, but they would stop by to make sure he was there.

Police discovered three bodies after they arrived at the house to investigate the rape complaint, and they later found three more.

One of the bodies was found in a shallow grave in the backyard. The rest were in the house — one in the basement, two in the third-floor living room and two in an upstairs

crawl space, Stacho said.

The bodies could have been there for weeks, months or years, said Powell Caesar, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County coroner. All the victims were women and five

were strangled.

On Tuesday, detectives brought in cadaver dogs and digging equipment to scour the home and backyard, looking for evidence to connect Sowell to the bodies, Stacho said.

Authorities also were searching vacant homes within a few kilometres of the home, which is in a crowded inner-city neighbourhood of mostly older houses. Police did not

say why they were searching the vacant homes or indicate whether they believe more bodies could be found.

The search was to continue Wednesday, with fire department crews planning to search in the walls of the home, McGrath said.

Police searched vacant homes in the neighborhood where residents complained of a "dead body smell." The 37-day time gap from when a woman told police Anthony Sowell

choked and raped her to when police went to his house to arrest him has raised some eyebrows.

Thirty-seven days passed between the time a woman told police Anthony Sowell choked and raped her in his house and when police went to Imperial Avenue to arrest him.

That time gap has raised the question -- among the crowds of neighbors gathered outside Sowell's home, victims' advocates and at least one city councilman -- if more could

have been done to track Sowell, whom police charged Tuesday with five counts of aggravated murder for some of the people found dead at his home.

Elusive victim

Cleveland police went to arrest Anthony Sowell Thursday night on a rape charge, 37 days after a woman told them she was beaten and raped inside Sowell's home on

Imperial Avenue. The time between the report and attempted arrest has raised questions about whether police should have acted more quickly. Police said it took more than

a month for the victim to meet with them and provide the information they needed to make an arrest.

Sept. 22: The woman told police she was drinking with Sowell inside his home when he inexplicably became angry, punched her and choked her with an extension cord. He

then raped her. She passed out from being choked and was able to get away after promising Sowell she would bring him money and not tell police, according to the report.

Sept 25: The case was reviewed by the Police Department's Sex Crimes Unit and assigned to a detective.

Sept. 28 and 29: Messages were left with the victim, asking her to call the detective.

Sept. 30: The detective went to the victim's home and left a business card. The victim's mother told police her daughter was hard to get hold of but promised to let her know

police were looking for her.

Oct. 8: The detective spoke by phone with the victim and agreed to meet in person three days later. The victim did not show up for the meeting.

Oct. 19: The detective went back to the victim's mother and asked her to have her daughter meet with police.

Oct. 27: Police interviewed the victim.

Oct. 28: Police got an arrest warrant for Sowell and a search warrant for his home.

Oct. 29: Police went to the home to arrest Sowell. He was not there, but police found the dead bodies inside.

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