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Case against Ohio murder suspect could widen

Authorities want to know if Anthony Sowell is linked to any killings in places he lived while in the military, including California and Japan. So far, 11 bodies have been found at his Cleveland home.

November 10, 2009|Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Authorities are investigating whether a murder suspect whose home and yard harbored the remains of at least 11 people is connected to any killings in places he lived while in the military, including California, Japan and the Carolinas.

The FBI will investigate any leads in the case against Anthony Sowell, 50, who served in the Marines from 1978 to 1985, said Scott Wilson, an FBI spokesman in Cleveland.

Sowell was stationed at various times at Parris Island, S.C.; Cherry Point, N.C.; Okinawa, Japan; and Camp Pendleton.

The city of East Cleveland is also reviewing three unsolved slayings in 1988 and 1989, after Sowell returned there from service in the Marines and before he went to prison for attempted rape, said Sgt. Ken Bolton, a detective for the police department in the Cleveland suburb.

Sowell has been charged in Cleveland with five counts of aggravated murder in connection with the bodies found at the home.

He was indicted Monday on one count of attempted murder, two counts of rape, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of felonious assault in an alleged attack Sept. 22 that led to the search of his home.

Police in Coronado, south of Camp Pendleton, said a woman told them that she saw Sowell's picture on TV and was sure he had raped her in 1979.

Officers talked with her but were unable to confirm her story because rape investigation records from 30 years ago have been thrown out, said Jesus Ochoa, Coronado police commander.

Also Monday, the remains of two more women -- Janice Webb, 48, and Kim Yvette Smith, 44 -- were identified by the Cuyahoga County coroner's office, according to Cleveland police Lt. Thomas Stacho.

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