Let Us Pray: Prayer Service Seeks To Heal As Police Plan Sweep Of Sowell's Home

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Councilman Zack Reed and local ministers called for the community to come together for a moment of prayer and consolation so that healing may begin, in light of the horrific discovery of multiple bodies on Imperial Avenue.

"We are still learning the extent of the tragedies that have occurred on Imperial Avenue and our hearts are with the victims," said Councilman Reed. "We must stand together as a community both in mourning and in the effort to seek justice."

The service urged healing in the community and also, a call for prayer. Not only for the victims and their families, but for the "demon" that drove the killer. One pastor said it was "time to bombard heaven with prayers" while another called for  "hope in a helpless situation."

The mid-morning prayer service at Providence Baptist Church comes as crews are expected back at Anthony Sowell's home to gather more evidence.

Police plan to team up with the fire department to thoroughly investigate the house, methodically taking down walls if necessary to ensure no more victims are buried inside.

A total of 11 victims have been found so far, in and around the southeast house.

The coroner tells 19 Action News eight victims were strangled. Seven bodies still had something around their necks and one victim was strangled by hands. Two others were killed by homicidal violence. The cause of death for the last victim is undetermined. Some of the victims could have been missing for up to five years.

Only one of the victims has been identified so far - Tonia Carmichael of Warrensville Heights. The 52-year-old went missing last year. Her body was recovered from Sowell's backyard.

The coroner's office is requesting that families with missing loved ones come forward to provide DNA samples.

Sowell - a convicted sex offender - was imprisoned from 1990 to June of 2005. After that, he moved into the Imperial Avenue home.

Sowell - who is currently unemployed and wears a pacemaker for a heart condition - is being held without bond at the Justice Center. He's charged with aggravated murder, rape, felonious assault and kidnapping.

California police are also looking into the suspected serial killer for a cold rape case stemming back to the 1970's.

Coronada police are investigating whether Sowell may have committed a rape in 1979. Sowell joined the Marines in 1978 and was stationed in Coronado.

Sowell could land on death row if convicted of the charges filed against him.

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