Tick, Tock: Coroner Works to Identify 6 Bodies While Suspected Serial Killer Sits In Jail

Nancy Cobbs - Missing Person
Nancy Cobbs - Missing Person
Janice Webb
Janice Webb

Posted by Web Staff - email | Facebook | Twitter

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office has announced new details about the six bodies found inside and outside of a home on E.123rd and Imperial Avenue last week.

All six bodies were female, African American and five of the six females died from strangulation. The bodies were all in various stages of decomposition.

Investigators are now covering a six-block radius of vacant homes, thoroughly searching the homes as the investigation kicks into high gear.

The Cleveland Police Department and the Cuyahoga County Coroner's office are working to identify the victims. Police are planning to obtain a warrant to take DNA from Sowell as well as track Sowell's residential history since his June, 2005 prison release.

This, after Cleveland Police went to serve a search warrant at the residence of the 50-year-old convicted rapist last Thursday and discovered the decomposing bodies.

Police found five bodies inside of the home, one of which was buried in a shallow grave under the basement staircase. The sixth body was found buried in a shallow grave in the backyard.

Neighbors and people who knew Sowell personally are still in a state of shock. "He was cool. I mean, he was just a normal guy," said Michael Edwards. "You wouldn't think he had bodies in the house."

Saturday around 12 p.m., tipster Joe Veal spotted Sowell walking about a mile from his home and alerted police, who were able to quickly make an arrest. Veal told 19 Action News, "I figured somebody is going to catch him sooner or later" then Veal drove to the Fourth District Police Station and told officers outside "I think I know where the dude at ya'll are looking for."

Kimberly Conkle witnessed Sowell's arrest and says, "They told him to get down, he got down, he didn't give them any trouble, he didn't try to run."

With Sowell behind bars, the focus shifts to identifying the six bodies found on Sowell's property.

19 Action News has learned there are two women currently missing who both lived within several blocks of Anthony Sowell. Janice Webb, 49-years-old, went missing on June 3rd, 2009 and Nancy Cobb went missing on April 24th, 2009.

Nancy Cobb's daughter, Audrey Williams, says, "I hope that was not my mother and I hope that she comes home."

Cleveland Police Lt. Thomas Stacho announced Sunday that effective immediately, the command post at E. 123rd and Soika had been deactivated. Everyday from 7am to 7pm citizens can go to the 4th District Police Headquarters located at 9333 Kinsman Ave where a detective will be on scene to interview citizens about missing persons believed to be tied to the Anthony Sowell investigation.

Citizens are encouraged to take a photo and biographical information related to any missing or suspected missing persons to the 4th District.

©2009 WOIO. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.