Convicted rapist Anthony Sowell is being held without bond, Fox 8’s Kathleen Cochrane reports. That’s what Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine decided Wednesday morning during Sowell’s initial court appearance at the Justice Center in Downtown Cleveland.
It was not an arraignment, but it was the first look at the man whom authorities believe killed numerous women and buried their bodies in and around his Imperial Avenue home.
Sowell’s defense attorney argued that her client had been employed as recently as two years ago, and that he had been living in the house in question for a number of years. She added that Sowell has a pacemaker because of a heart condition, and cited psychiatric issues as well.
The judge, however, was not having it.
“Mr. Sowell, in 28 years of being on this bench, this is, without question, the most serious set of allegations that I’ve ever faced,” Adrine told the suspected serial killer as he denied all bail.
Authorities used a backhoe to dig up Sowell’s backyard on Tuesday. They discovered what is believed to be four more bodies. That brings the total number of victims found in Sowell’s house and yard since last Thursday to 10.
But investigators believe that number will grow, revealing that a human skull was also found Tuesday, in a bucket in Sowell’s basement, where some of the victims were earlier found buried.
Cleveland Police Chief Michael Mcgrath says, “It appears that this man had an insatiable appetite that he had to fill, that’s how it appears and everything is right there at that location.”
Tuesday, the first round of charges were filed against Anthony Sowell. He was charged with five counts of aggravated murder for the five women the coroner has concluded were strangled, before their bodies were allegedly hidden by Sowell.
More charges will be filed once authorities are able to confirm the other bodies found in the home were the victims of homicide.
Sowell faces additional charges of kidnapping, rape and felonious assault for an attack on a woman in September.
It was that crime that prompted the Cleveland Police Department to send officers to the home last Thursday. That’s when they discovered the first three bodies.
Many Clevelanders, including the relatives of missing women, are demanding to know why police did not realize so many women were disappearing in Sowell’s neighborhood. Some say they weren’t able to take a good look at the convicted rapist with a penchant for violence against women.
But CPD Chief McGrath says, “We will not know until we identify the victims and understand their way of life, how they existed in the community. It would not surprise me if some of these victims, there is not a missing persons report for.”
The coroner is now using DNA testing and dental records to identify the ten victims.
Mayor Frank Jackson says “I can imagine how families feel who have reported a missing person, an anxiety they’re going through, and we want to assure them that as soon as we know something, they will be the first to know.”
Chief McGrath said authorities would return to the scene tomorrow — with the fire department — to search in the walls and ceilings. “We won’t leave until we search everything,” said McGrath.
But, that does not mean the police won’t find more. Lt. Tom Stacho tells Fox 8 News, “The body count is ever changing.”
A high-ranking authority on the scene told Fox 8 News Reporter Dave Nethers that “while Sowell is not cooperating with the investigation, he did tell authorities information that led them back to his house.”
Authorities also tell Fox 8 News that they will continue to search the backyard of Sowell’s house, and then begin to search inside of his home.
Police are still encouraging people in the area to report missing persons to the police department’s Fourth District in order to help them identify the six victims.
Authorities urge anyone who might know of a missing person in the area, to please call their command post at (216) 310-4366 or (216) 310-4370.
Via: Fox 8 News…Jack Shea