Coroner says decomposed bodies found at rapist’s home were homicide victims

Six badly decomposed bodies found at the home of a convicted rapist facing a new rape allegation were females and all were homicide victims, the coroner’s office said Sunday.

Cleveland police search the porch at the home of Anthony Sowell

CLEVELAND — Six badly decomposed bodies found at the home of a convicted rapist facing a new rape allegation were females and all were homicide victims, the coroner’s office said Sunday.

Powell Caesar, a spokesman for Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller, said at least four of the victims apparently had been strangled. Decomposition made it difficult to determine how two victims died, he said.

None of the victims has been identified, Caesar said. Two victims were black, but race hadn’t yet been determined in the other four bodies, he said.

Anthony Sowell, 50, of Cleveland, was arrested Saturday when officers spotted him walking down the street of his eastside neighbourhood.

Police found the first two bodies Thursday night when they went to Sowell’s home to arrest him on a new rape charge. Police said Sowell spent 15 years in prison for a rape in 1989.

On Friday, police found a third body and remains that were confirmed on Saturday to be three additional bodies.

People who knew Sowell said he often walked around his neighbourhood looking for scrap metal to sell and asking for money.

Police urged the public for help Sunday in identifying missing people who may have been victims.

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