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Anthony Sowell House of Horrors: Who's Buried There?

(AP/John Kuntz, Plain Dealer; CPD)
Photo: A coroner van leaves the home of Anthony Sowell carrying a victim discovered in his home.

CLEVELAND (CBS/AP) Who's buried at the home of Anthony Sowell?

It's the question Cleveland detectives -- and Sowell's neighbors -- are anxious to answer, after the remains of six female victims, at least five of them strangled, were discovered at Sowell's house by police late last week.

Police Chief Michael McGrath told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper the investigation will focus on missing people in Sowell's neighborhood, then expand to other areas of the city.

PICTURES: Anthony Sowell's Home of Horror

The nightmare on Cleveland's southeast side continued to unravel as the six decomposing bodies were being removed from the duplex property that Sowell, 50, shared with his stepmother since 2005, when he was released from prison after serving 15 years for attempted rape of a woman in her 20's.

Police set up a command post near Sowell's house Saturday and urged people to come forward with information on missing relatives or friends, according to the Plain Dealer. Law enforcement asked families of missing area women to bring photographs and biographical information to the city's 4th District police station.

Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller said Monday it could take days or weeks to identify the bodies using dental records or DNA samples. He says his office has begun the "arduous" process of collecting materials from dentists and relatives of women reported missing.

(AP/The Plain Dealer, John Kuntz)
Photo: Janice Webb.

Police plan to seek a warrant to take DNA from Sowell as well as track his residential history since his June, 2005 prison release. They also planned to scrutinize missing-person reports made since that time.

Sowell was arrested Saturday about a mile from his house.

McGrath said Sowell's history shows he preyed on people close to him.

"He had a specific motive," the chief said. "His victims that we know about met him on the street, and he got them to his house."

The six bodies were discovered at his home after police went there Thursday night, Oct. 28, with a rape and felonious assault warrant, stemming from a fresh complaint by a woman who said she had been raped by Sowell at his house.

Inside the home, police found five bodies, one of which was buried in a shallow grave under the basement staircase. The sixth body was found buried in a shallow grave in the backyard.

(CBS/19 Action News)
Photo: Nancy Cobbs.

CBS Affiliate 19 Action News has learned there are two women currently missing who both lived within several blocks of Anthony Sowell. Janice Webb, 49-years-old, went missing on June 3rd, 2009 and Nancy Cobb went missing on April 24th, 2009.

Nancy Cobb's daughter, Audrey Williams, says, "I hope that was not my mother and I hope that she comes home."

Reporting Contributed by CBS Affiliate 19 Action News.


PICTURES: Anthony Sowell's Home of Horror

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
November 2, 2009 - Anthony Sowell Cruised Sex Fetish Site While Dead Bodies Rotted in His Cleveland Home
November 2, 2009 - Six Died Violently at Anthony Sowell's Cleveland Home, Say Police

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Associated Press has withdrawn reports referring to Sowell as a "convicted rapist." The AP says that Sowell was only convicted of attempted rape, according to police.

  • Edecio Martinez

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