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Saturday, October 1, 2016

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The bodies of three women wrapped in plastic bags have been discovered in a midwestern suburb of Ohio and the search is on for more victims, police said.

A suspect was arrested in connection with the grisly find in East Cleveland, Ohio.

The first body was detected in a garage Friday after police got a call about a foul odor, Detective Sergeant Scott Gardner said in a statement.

The other two bodies turned up Saturday, with Gardner saying one was located at an “abandoned residence.” The other body was found near the first corpse.

All three corpses are those of young black females.

“Searches continue for any possible additional victims,” Gardner said.

The suspect, identified as Micheal Madison, 35, who is also black, was arrested at his mother’s house without incident after a standoff.

After the first body was found, homicide detectives called to the scene “obtained additional evidence” from Madison’s apartment.

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton told CNN that Madison was influenced by and even idolized Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 of killing 11 women and hiding the remains at his Cleveland home.

Sowell, dubbed the “Cleveland Strangler,” is currently on death row in an Ohio prison.

“We are dealing with a sick individual and we have reason to believe that there might be more victims,” CNN quoted Norton as saying on its website.

Norton also said that Madison is a registered sex offender who served time in prison.

The local coroner has not yet identified the victims, though officials believe they died within the last ten days, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer newspaper reported.

Police said that Madison alluded to more bodies in the area.

FBI agents, Ohio criminal investigators and sheriff deputies used sniffer dogs as they searched abandoned homes looking for the remains of more victims, local media reported.

Cleveland is the same city where former bus driver Ariel Castro, 52, is accused of holding three young women captive for a decade at his home.

The case came to light after one of the victims, 27 year-old Amanda Berry, escaped from the house with her young daughter on May 6 by calling out to a neighbor for help through a locked front door.