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This undated photo released by the Cleveland Police Department shows Anthony E. Sowell. Police in Cleveland have arrested Sowell, a convicted rapist after they found as many as six bodies at his house.

Patricia Warren of Cleveland, Ohio, holds up a poster of her cousin Janice Webb, who vanished in June, outside the home of Anthony Sowell on Friday. Police say officers who went to the home looking for a rape suspect found decomposing bodies.

"He was crazy," neighbor says of ex-con arrested after search in Cleveland

CLEVELAND - A convicted rapist who fled before police arrived to arrest him on new rape charges was arrested Saturday in his inner-city neighborhood after police found six decomposing bodies at his home.

Police spokesman Lt. Thomas Stacho said Anthony Sowell was walking down the street on the east side of Cleveland when authorities spotted him and took him into custody.

Sowell initially denied he was the man authorities were looking for but admitted his identity as officers began fingerprinting him, Stacho said. Charges against him are pending.

Officers initially identified three bodies at Sowell’s home, Stacho said. Powell Caesar, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County coroner’s office, said additional remains were found and confirmed Saturday as three more bodies, for a total of six.

As of Saturday, autopsies had been performed on all six bodies but no cause of death or names were announced. Two autopsies were done Friday.

The first two bodies were found Thursday night when police went to Sowell’s home to arrest him on charges of felonious assault and rape. Police say he had spent 15 years in prison for a 1989 rape.

Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller identified two bodies as black females and said one had died of a violent death ruled a homicide. No race or gender was determined for the others.

Police established a command post in the neighborhood to take missing-person reports and additional information on outstanding missing persons in the neighborhood.

Teresa Hicks, 48, was among the neighbors who said they were relieved about the arrest but left with a heightened fear of crime. She said she has known Sowell since high school.

“He was crazy,” she said from her porch Saturday. “Sometimes he would just go off if he didn’t have his way.”

Darren Dunlap, 38, frequently visits the neighborhood to see his brother or friends. He said Sowell was known for borrowing money and looking for scrap metal to sell.

Hicks said she didn’t think Sowell had a job but understood from conversations with him that he lived on a monthly check. She said she didn’t know its source.

Police were checking crime reports to find matches for similarities to the 1989 rape or the most recent allegation against Sowell.

Minutes before the arrest was made, police Chief Michael McGrath tried to reassure parents that it was safe for their children to go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood if they followed standard precautions like avoiding strangers and staying in a group.

Hicks said her daughter would not be trick-or-treating.

Detectives with a search warrant found two bodies Thursday on the third floor of a duplex and began checking a fresh grave dug in the basement. The bodies were in an advanced state of decomposition, suggesting they’d been in the home a long time.

Police were checking missing-person reports back to June 2005, when Sowell was released from prison.

As a convicted sex offender, Sowell was required to report regularly to the sheriff's office, which said he had complied.

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Not that I'm not happy that this guy is off the streets, but ...
Police spokesman Lt. Thomas Stacho said Anthony Sowell was walking down the street on the east side of Cleveland when authorities spotted him and took him into custody.

Sowell initially denied he was the man authorities were looking for but admitted his identity as officers began fingerprinting him, Stacho said. Charges against him are pending.

If he denied who he was, why/how were the police fingerprinting him?? Confused
Why if all these women have gone missing, I'm just now hearing about this in the national news?

Greetings. I am from this city. It is indeed a serious question as to why there was not more news about these missing women.

Where were the amber alerts and crawlers under the TV screens?

The unfortunate truth is that many missing people are so-called "throw-aways"...people involved in unstable and risky lifestyles who run the streets. I am not saying that this applied to any of these women but it does happen.

I am sure many of us have loved ones who are "on that sh**" who come in and out of our lives. The media (and community) just simply do not care about these people until something gruesome like this reaches the national attention.

The streets, psychiatric wards and morgues are full of missing people in EVERY metropolitan area.
Body count now up to 10...possibly 11.

If he denied who he was, why/how were the police fingerprinting him??

The good great government (lead by messiah Obama of course) passed laws that allow police to stop and frisk ANYONE at ANY TIME now.

But it is situations like this that justify such totalitarian measures. The masses are asking for suppression of individual rights in the face of adversity.

Soon, we will allow them to put implants into our children so that something like this tragedy does not happen to ours. We are complicit in our own oppression in this "new age".

Anthony Sowell Thrived Because of Indifference.

All of the signs pointed to the fact that something was horribly wrong in Anthony Sowell's Cleveland neighborhood.

Police waited more than a month before heading to the home of the convicted sex offender after a woman accused him of rape. A terrible odor that many neighbors said smelled like decaying flesh hung in the air for more than a year. Neighbors reported seeing a scraped and bruised woman fall from Sowell's second floor window.

That's not all.

Sowell, 50, walked around smelling so rancid that a store owner opened his front and back doors when he entered to buy beer. Meanwhile, parole officers arrived regularly at Sowell's home to check in on him as required by law but didn't notice anything askew.

"I'm not going to point fingers, but at the end of the day, someone clearly dropped the ball," Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

So when officers finally decided to investigate the horrendous smell coming from Sowell's home and found two decaying bodies upstairs, nobody should have been surprised. Authorities have since discovered the remains of 10 women, most of whom are believed to be African American.

Reed is right. Lots of people dropped the ball, including officials like him. I wonder how many complaints Sowell's neighbors filed with the police about the dreadful stench coming from his home. I can't believe authorities did not think it was possible for a violent rapist to graduate to murder.

This is what Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said about Sowell after his arrest: "He had an insatiable appetite to fill."

Police didn't act that way.

Sowell has been charged with five counts of aggravated murder for the first discovered bodies. The victims had all been strangled.

The woman who claims Sowell raped her also said she was strangled unconscious with an extension cord before being raped.

As police excavate Sowell's home in search of other potential victims, they also need to reexamine how they deal with sexual predators and missing people. If this were a white neighborhood, I wonder if more extensive efforts wouldn't have been taken to identify the odor.

I'm amazed that 10 people could go missing for weeks, months and years without authorities launching a search to find out what happened. The missing persons cases that make the most news are usually white middle-class women, such as Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, even though FBI statistics show that people of color make up 40 percent of those reported missing, a highly disproportionate number.

"It's mind-boggling when it comes to missing persons of color that we don't get the attention," Derrica Wilson, CEO and founder of the Black and Missing Foundation, told AOL Black Voices in an interview. "It bothers me that law enforcement did not take action before this was discovered."

Wilson, who also works as a law enforcement officer, wondered how police could have visited Sowell's home on numerous occasions and not noticed the smell of death; some thought the odor was coming from a neighborhood sausage shop.

"That stench, there is nothing like it. You should be able to distinguish between dead human and animal flesh. Not to mention, he was a convicted violent rapist. Being a law enforcement officer, I question what happened when police went to that home," said Wilson.

Now, the families of some women who have been reported missing in Sowell's neighborhood are coming forward. One of them, Kyana Hunt, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that her mother, 43-year-old Nancy Cobbs, lived one block from Sowell and has been missing for seven months.

"She always comes home. It's not just like her to disappear," Hunt said.

Now, it's up to the community to do what should have been done before this tragedy and demand accountability from authorities. Reports of missing people should be taken seriously, regardless of the color of the person missing. Complaints from neighbors about the same issue for years should be thoroughly investigated.

"How can we be better keepers for our communities? It takes a village. It takes everyone in the community to follow up," Wilson said.
fro OMG! This remind of Jeffrey Domer[sp]...the white guy who murdered/devoured African American men[keeping their bodies in containers and refrigerators]...was it...ten years ago? This guy looks scary. Glad he is OFF the streets. And sorry for the families in Cleveland who lost their loved ones. Sometimes when something smells real bad....I mean foul/just god awful...usually there's death somewhere. As in this case. How tragic. Frown


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