Police fear their suspect may be a serial killer

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Police were yesterday searching a Cleveland, Ohio, neighbourhood where three bodies were found wrapped in plastic bags, as the main suspect indicated to authorities that he might have been influenced by a notorious serial killer who strangled 11 women.

A 35-year-old registered sex offender was arrested after a police stand-off on Friday and is a suspect in the three deaths, East Cleveland mayor Gary Norton said.

The suspect, from East Cleveland, has indicated he might have been influenced by Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to death, Mr Norton said.

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

One body was found on Friday in a garage. Two others were found on Saturday – one in a garden and the other in the basement of a vacant house. The bodies, believed to be female, were found about 90 to 180 metres apart, and police believe the victims were killed in the last six to ten days.

One woman said she was familiar with the suspect and had seen him walking through the neighbourhood.

“It’s very scary, especially when he used to be talking to my daughter,” said Nathenia Crosby, 48. “But I told him he was too old to be talking to my daughter because she was only 19.”

Sowell was found guilty in 2011 of killing 11 women and hiding their remains around his Cleveland home from June 2007 to July 2009.