Police in East Cleveland, Ohio, say they have a male suspect in custody after discovering three dead female bodies over the weekend.
Detective Sgt. Scott Gardner said that Michael Madison, 35, was arrested after police found "additional evidence of decomposition" on the property that was leased to the Ohio man. Gardner told reporters that the garage where the first victim was found was leased to Madison.
The alleged murderer was later located and taken into custody without incident after a standoff at his mother's house.
Madison’s arrest on Sunday comes after a day after police discovered the decomposing bodies of three young black women who were all found individually wrapped in layers of plastic and taped up, according to authorities.
Reports indicate the first victim was found on Friday in a garage after police received a call about a foul odor. Two other bodies were found on Saturday, one in the basement of an abandoned house, the other in a field nearby. The first victim was found naked with indications of trauma. The second victim was found wearing a green hoodie, while the third was wearing a leopard print leotard.
According to police, Madison was convicted of attempted rape in 2001 and is a registered sex offender. Furthermore, city officials speculate that this past weekend’s discovery may be the first of many more to come.
"We are dealing with a sick individual, and we have reason to believe that there might be more victims," East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton told CNN.
Norton said that while authorities believe the killings happened over a 10-day period, they are almost positive that Madison is linked to all three.
"One of the things that makes us believe it's the same suspect is the way that they were all wrapped ... and the same concealment of each of the victims," he said.
The mayor said that Madison may have been "influenced" by the murders of convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell.
Nicknamed the “Cleveland Strangler,” Sowell was convicted in 2011 of the murders of 11 women whose bodies were found in his house in 2009.
"Unfortunately, this is a sick individual who appears to have been influenced by another sick individual," Norton told CNN. "If he had been out for one more hour, there's no telling what would have happened."
East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts told ABC’s local News Channel 5 that multiple female individuals have come forward with stories of how they were at one point in Madison’s house and were able to escape from uncomfortable situations, but they never said anything to anyone.
In a statement released on Sunday, Cuyahoga County medical examiner said that "identification and final cause of death may take several days" given the advanced state of decomposition.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.