THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Ohio police search near house that held bodies

By Thomas J. Sheeran
Associated Press / November 12, 2009

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CLEVELAND - A stench around the home of a suspected serial killer returned stronger than ever yesterday as police searched the house next door for more bodies and carried out bags of evidence.

“It’s like it got worse,’’ said 22-year-old neighbor Terrance Johnson. “It smells bad in the air, like death.’’

Four plainclothes officers carried bags of evidence from the house next door to Anthony Sowell’s early yesterday afternoon, but police did not indicate what had been removed. The red-painted house next to Sowell’s appeared to be abandoned but in good shape, aside from a broken porch railing.

The 50-year-old Sowell has been charged with five counts of aggravated murder. 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.

The neighborhood had reeked off and on for several years, and residents had attributed the odor to a broken sewer or a nearby sausage shop. Now most think the smell came from decomposing bodies.

Neighbors attributed yesterday’s renewed odor to increased activity near Sowell’s house.

The FBI, which has offered technical help in the investigation, said the timing of a thermal-energy search of the property would be up to city police, who didn’t indicate when that would start.