Suspected serial killer charged with murder

2013-07-22 22:36
Michael Madison is brought into court for his arraignment in Ohio.

Michael Madison is brought into court for his arraignment in Ohio. (Mark Duncan, AP)

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Washington - A US man suspected of being a copycat serial killer was charged with aggravated murder on Monday in the deaths of three women.

Police said there may be more victims yet to be discovered in East Cleveland, Ohio.

"This is an ongoing investigation. We're nowhere near done," East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts told reporters.

"We did have information that there may be more to this, which is why we are continuing our searching."

Over 100 volunteers helped police search abandoned buildings in the Cleveland suburb over the weekend after the first body was discovered in a garage when police got a call about a foul odour.

Two more bodies - also wrapped in plastic - were discovered before the initial search was suspended on Sunday. All three corpses are those of young black females.

The suspect, identified as Michael Madison, 35, who is also black, was arrested at his mother's house after a standoff.

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton told CNN that Madison was influenced by and even idolised Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 of killing 11 women and hiding the remains at his Cleveland home.

Sowell, dubbed the "Cleveland Strangler", is currently on death row in an Ohio prison.

Madison, a registered sex offender who served time in prison, was held on a $6m bond after a brief court appearance on Monday.

The county coroner said all three bodies were "very decomposed" and as a result autopsies were unable to determine the cause of death.

One victim was identified: Angela Deskins, 38.

Cleveland is the same city where former bus driver Ariel Castro, 52, is accused of holding three young women captive for a decade at his home.

The case came to light after one of the victims, 27 year-old Amanda Berry, escaped from the house with her young daughter on 6 May by calling out to a neighbour for help through a locked front door.

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