Update: Police in Cleveland search for more bodies

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Police are expanding their search of a convicted rapist's neighborhood and his neatly kept home, where 10 bodies have been found.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Police are expanding their search of a sex offender’s neighborhood and his neatly kept home, where 10 bodies have been found in the basement, buried in the backyard, in an upstairs living room and in a crawl space.

In addition to the four latest bodies they found buried in the backyard of Anthony Sowell’s home on Tuesday, authorities found a skull wrapped in paper inside a bucket in the basement.

Sowell, 50, a registered sex offender, was charged Tuesday with five counts of aggravated murder and, in a Sept. 22 attack that led to the search of his home, with rape, felonious assault and kidnapping. He wasn’t at the house when police arrived Thursday but was arrested Saturday blocks from his home.

Sowell is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday on the charges. Police, asked if Sowell was cooperating, said Tuesday night that he had asked for an attorney. Court records didn’t indicate who was representing him.

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Investigators worked late into the evening Tuesday searching the Sowell property, squeezed between a sausage store and another house in an inner-city neighborhood of aging homes, some boarded up and abandoned.

Police searched vacant homes within a quarter-mile Tuesday, looking for more bodies. Police Chief Michael McGrath ordered the search expanded another quarter mile and said firefighters also will search in the walls and floors of Sowell’s home on Wednesday.

“It appears that this man had an insatiable appetite that he had to fill,” McGrath said.

The Cuyahoga County coroner hasn’t identified any of the bodies but is trying to do so through DNA and dental records. The six found last week were black, and five were strangled.

“What kind of man was this?” wondered Regina Woodland, who lives about two blocks away. “He couldn’t have been human.”

A crowd of around 100 people milled about and chatted near the home Tuesday evening. A short while later, around 50 people joined hands and put their arms around each other in the middle of the street and prayed aloud.

One of those in the crowd, Antoinnette Dudley, 29, lives a few houses away. She said she could smell a terrible odor like something was dead all summer. She said she saw Sowell only a few times, mainly drinking beer while he sat on his porch.

“I didn’t think he was that sick,” she said.

As a registered sex offender, Sowell was required to check in regularly at the sheriff’s office. Officers didn’t have the right to enter his house, but they would stop by to make sure he was there. Their most recent visit was Sept. 22, just hours before the woman reported being raped.

For the past few years, Sowell’s neighbors thought the foul smell enveloping their street corner had been coming from a brick building where workers churned out sausage and head cheese. It got so bad that the owners of Ray’s Sausage replaced their sewer line and grease traps.

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