Clevelander’s gathered Wednesday night at the House of God Church to pray for the victims of accused serial killer Anthony Sowell, whose house of horrors is just one block from the church.
Ironically, members of the congregation had tried to help distressed women in the neighborhood like 31-year-old Telacia Fortson, whose family fears she may be one of Sowell’s victims.
Rev. Catherine Bryant says “we would be very saddened to know that this young lady, this beautiful young lady who has touched us very dearly because we have known her in a very personal way.”
Wednesday morning, Anthony Sowell was arraigned on five counts of aggravated murder and a Cleveland judge ordered that he be held without bond.
In Sowell’s neighborhood, there is sympathy for the families of the victims and surprisingly, the alleged serial killer himself.
A man speaking at a prayer vigil told the crowd “ease their hearts and ease their emotions, touch their hearts and touch their temperment and I know it’s hard lord, but we begin to step to approach you Lord without forgiving him, I know we don’t want to say we forgive him Lord for what he has done but we’ve got to if we want to get to the kingdom.”
The Cuyahoga County Coroner says the remains of eleven women have been found in Sowell’s home, and it appears most or all of them had been strangled.
The number went up by one after investigators found a human skull hidden in a bucket in Sowell’s basement.
Six of the victims have been found in Sowell’s living quarters and the basement, and five were found buried in his backyard.
The first victim to be identified is 52-year-old Tonia Carmichael.
The coroner is now seeking d-n-a samples from the families of the other women who have vanished from the surrounding neighborhood.
Dr. Frank Miller says “biological relatives, preferably maternal relatives so either a child that’s biologically related to one of these women or the biological mother of these women.”
The family of Tonia Carmichael has joined the chorus of Clevelanders who are critical of police for not noticing that so many women had disappeared.
But Cleveland’s chief of police denies that cases involving people with difficult backgrounds have been a low priority.
Chief Michael McGrath says “any time somebody disappears in our city, be it a young child or a homeless person, you know we consider them all very important because they all have family members that are missing them, bottom line.”
Cleveland Police and the coroner’s office will continue their search for bodies at some point but they are not revealing when. They do say one of the priorities is finding the body that goes with the skull that was discovered earlier this week.
Via:Fox 8 Cleveland News