Officials identify second East Cleveland murder victim

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 23, 2013 2:45 PM
Officials identify second East Cleveland murder victim

By Kim Palmer

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (Reuters) - Authorities have identified the second of three murder victims found dumped in plastic garbage bags in an East Cleveland neighborhood as 28-year-old Shetisha Sheeley, the city's mayor said on Tuesday.

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said the body of Sheeley, a resident of Cleveland, was discovered Saturday in a weeded lot near two other bodies. East Cleveland is a low-income city of about 27,000 people outside Cleveland.

Authorities on Monday confirmed the identity of the first victim as Angela Deskins, 38, also of Cleveland.

Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Tom Gilson said his office made a preliminary identification, based on Sheeley's multiple tattoos, which was confirmed with a fingerprint match.

The name of a third victim has not yet been released. The third woman was found after neighbors complained of a strong, pungent smell coming from a garage behind an apartment building.

The identification of the third victim as well as the cause of death of all three victims may take "a couple of days" due to the severe decomposition of the bodies, according to Gilson.

An arrest was made in the case on Friday. Michael Madison, 35, faces three counts each of kidnapping and aggravated murder, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of death. He is being held on $6 million bond. No hearings have been scheduled in the case.

According to court records, he is a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty to attempted rape in 2002.

Madison was arrested at his mother's home, hours after the first body was discovered.

The bodies, two of which were found by trained cadaver-smelling dogs, were located in a garage, the basement of a building and in a weeded lot around the building where Madison lived.

During a police interview, Madison mentioned the name of Cleveland serial killer, Anthony Sowell, who was convicted of murder in the deaths of 11 women, according to Norton. Their bodies were found wrapped in garbage bags in and around his home in 2009.

"These people that are victims have stories, they have lives and they have loved ones," Norton said.

Madison was transferred on Tuesday to the Cuyahoga County jail, where Ariel Castro, 53, is being held. Castro is charged with nearly 1,000 criminal counts, including murder, rape and kidnapping, in the disappearance and the decade-long captivity of three women.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Greg McCune and Jeffrey Benkoe)