44-D’s True Crime: Anthony Sowell–Ohio Cops Find Eleven Bodies At Rapist’s Home

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Smell permeated Cleveland neighborhood where 11 bodies found, residents say

Anthony Sowell's home was the source of an odor that permeated the neighborhood, police say.

Anthony Sowell's home was the source of an odor that permeated the neighborhood, police say.

CNN—The smell permeated the neighborhood, turning the stomachs of residents and curtailing their outdoor activities.

We used to think that it was coming from out of Ray’s Sausage,” said one resident. “But you smell these smells, and I live right there and … we used to come out here and oh, these smells would just be horrible.”

Ray’s Sausage Co. replaced a sewer line and grease traps, trying to rid the area of the stench. But Ray’s wasn’t to blame after all. Instead, police said, the foul odor had a much more sinister source.

Eleven victims have been found inside and outside a home adjacent to Ray’s — six inside and five outside. A skull, wrapped in a paper bag and stuffed into a bucket in the basement, apparently is all that remains of one of the 11 victims, authorities said Wednesday.

Anthony Sowell appears in court on Wednesday with public defender Kathleen Demetz.

Anthony Sowell appears in court on Wednesday with public defender Kathleen Demetz.

The home’s inhabitant, Anthony Sowell, 50, is a registered sex offender. Now, Sowell is facing five counts of aggravated murder, rape, felonious assault and kidnapping, police said. A judge on Wednesday denied bond for him, saying the latest allegations against him are “gruesome” and the “most serious” he has heard in his years on the bench.

Seven of the victims died from strangulation by a ligature, said Frank Miller, Cuyahoga County coroner. A ligature can include a string, cord or wire. All of the seven still had something tied around their necks, Miller told reporters.

An eighth victim died from manual strangulation — strangulation by hands. Two other bodies were too badly decomposed to determine the cause of death, although Miller said he believes they were victims of “homicidal violence.” Autopsy results on the 11th victim are pending.

It’s most likely strangulation in all cases,” Miller said.

Tonia Carmichael was 52 when she was last seen on November 10, 2008, according to police.

Tonia Carmichael was 52 when she was last seen on November 10, 2008, according to police.

The first victim was identified Wednesday as Tonia Carmichael, who was 52 when she was last seen on November 10, 2008, police said in a statement. Carmichael was identified using DNA. She disappeared from Warrensville Heights, a Cleveland suburb near Sowell’s home, and her vehicle was found in Cleveland.

In the missing persons report, obtained by CNN, Carmichael’s mother, Barbara, told police her daughter was addicted to crack and had previously disappeared for several days at a time. But she said she believed something had happened to her because she had not picked up two paychecks.

Tonia Carmichael’s daughter, Danita, told CNN’s sister network HLN the identification did not come as a surprise.

This is what I’ve been saying since Monday, when, you know, we were called to the coroner’s office and since this story broke, we automatically knew that this was going to be here,” Danita Carmichael said.

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Filed under African-Americans, Cleveland, OH, Crime, Uncategorized, Violence, Women's Issues

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