Officials charged a Cleveland-area man Monday with kidnapping and murdering three women whose decomposing bodies were found curled up and wrapped in plastic garbage bags in a suburb of the city over the weekend.
Michael Madison, 35, a registered sex offender, was arrested Friday after a short standoff with police, who said they had found one woman's body in an East Cleveland garage along with a car connected to him.
The other two bodies were found in an advanced state of decomposition in the bags Saturday; further searching Sunday failed to turn up more victims.
The apparent slayings unnerved some in the Cleveland area, the site of some of the country's worst crimes against women in recent memory -- most recently the rescue of three young women who had been kidnapped and kept against their will in a Cleveland home for about a decade.
East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton initially feared that Madison had been inspired by Anthony Sowell, the man known as the Cleveland Strangler, who was convicted in 2011 of murdering 11 women.
At a Monday court appearance, Madison didn't enter a plea and waived a preliminary hearing as a judge set his bail for $6 million, according to the Associated Press. The charges carry the possibility of the death penalty. Madison was registered as a sex offender after a 2002 conviction for attempted rape.
Officials identified one of the victims Monday as Angela Deskins, 38, of Cleveland, whose body was the second discovered.
"Three individuals who were minding their own business were killed senselessly by an individual with no regard for human life," Norton told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "As a community we are dealing with the tragedy, we are healing and we are strong."
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