Cleveland House of Horrors: Skull Found in a Bucket, More Bodies Found

Four more bodies found in Anthony Sowell's backyard.

November 3, 2009, 4:14 PM

Nov. 3, 2009 — -- Cleveland police found another four bodies in the backyard of convicted rapist and now suspected murderer Anthony Sowell, and found a skull in a bucket in his basement.

Cleveland Police Department Lt. Thomas Stacho said this evening that while the coroner's office could only confirm that six bodies had been recovered from Sowell's property, since this morning the number of dead is likely to rise to 10.

Stacho confirmed that the skull was found "wrapped in paper or plastic" in a bucket in Sowell's basement.

Earlier today, Sowell, 50, was charged with five counts of aggravated murder, and he is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Cleveland Justice Center.

He was arrested last week after Cuyahoga County, Ohio, authorities discovered what they said were the remains of six African American women on his property.

Authorities were seen removing more body bags today, according to ABC News' Cleveland affiliate WEWS-TV. It's not clear whether additional bodies may be found in or around Sowell's property.

Five of the bodies found earlier this week were believed to have died from strangulation, Stacho said. The cause of death for the sixth is still unknown.

Police have started searching abandoned and vacant homes in a six-mile radius of Sowell's home, WEWS reported.

Cadaver dogs will continue to search Powell's home.

Sowell was released in 2005 after serving 15 years in prison for choking and raping a 21-year-old woman in 1989.

Bodies Scattered Through Sowell's Property

Police discovered the bodies after a woman claiming she had been raped at Powell's three-story home reported the crime to police.

Able to enter the home with a search warrant, authorities discovered two bodies. Three more were found on Friday and Sowell was eventually arrested on Saturday.

Detectives also said they were also retracing Sowell's steps since his release from prison four years ago.

Reports by neighbors of a foul smell wafting from Sowell's home called into question why officers assigned to make house calls on the registered sex offender didn't suspect foul play.

But according to authorities, officers were unable to enter the home because they did not have a search warrant to do so. Instead, they would knock on his door to make sure he was home. Sowell was last visited by authorities on Sept. 22.

One of the bodies was found in a shallow grave in the backyard. The rest were inside the house — one in the basement, two in the third-floor living room and two in an upstairs crawl space, according to Stacho.

Stacho would not comment on whether they expected to find any more bodies in the home.

"We hope they don't find any more," Renee Cash, whose family operates a nearby sausage company for 57 years, told the Associated Press. "In the summertime, it was gross," Cash said. "You could always smell it. It smelled like something rotten."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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