East Cleveland Bodies Update: Authorities work to identify bodies of three women discovered in Ohio

Michael Madison
East Cleveland Police via WOIO-TV
Michael Madison
Michael Madison is a suspect in the deaths of three women discovered in Cleveland
East Cleveland Police via WOIO-TV

(CBS/AP) EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - An Ohio medical examiner is working to identify the bodies of three women discovered in East Cleveland over the weekend, CBS affiliate WOIO reports.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has yet to make positive identifications, reports the station.

Authorities responding to a report of a foul odor from a home ultimately discovered three bodies and arrested a registered sex offender who sent police and volunteers through a poor Ohio neighborhood in a search for more victims Sunday, officials said.

An odor led to the discovery Friday of one body in a garage. Two others were found Saturday - one in a backyard and the other in the basement of a vacant house. The victims were found about 100 to 200 yards apart, and authorities believed they were killed in the past six to 10 days.The bodies of the three women were all wrapped in plastic bags in fetal positions.

East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts had cautioned searchers to be prepared to find one or two more victims. But after a daylong search that included 40 abandoned houses and other areas, no more bodies were found.

Spotts identified the suspect as 35-year-old Michael Madison. He said Madison is expected to be formally charged Monday, but did not elaborate.

An 11 a.m. press conference is planned for Monday, WOIO reports.

East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts tells 19 Action News Madison has not been cooperative during questioning.

Mayor Gary Norton said the suspect has indicated he might have been influenced by Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 of murdering 11 women and sentenced to death.

Norton said authorities have "lots of reasons" to suspect there are more victims, but he refused to say why.

Madison was arrested Friday after a police standoff. A woman at a small white house at an address for Madison said the family was shocked by the allegations. She identified herself as a family member and answered a few questions through the blinds of a window Sunday but refused to come out or give her name. It wasn't clear whether Madison has an attorney.

Madison threatened about a month ago to attack women in the same fashion as Sowell, said Eric Wilson, a neighbor who saw Madison frequently. Mayor Gary Norton said Madison gave similar indications to authorities.

 "He said some things that led us to believe that in some way, shape, or form, Sowell might be an influence," Norton told The Associated Press.

WOIO's Ed Gallek reports that Madison has been on the streets since 2005. He went to prison in February of 2002 for a four-year-sentence for attempted rape and possession of drugs, according to the station. He was reportedly released in October of 2005 on parole.

In 2000, Madison served three months in prison on two drug cases, reports the station.