EAST CLEVELAND -- If suspected serial killer Michael Madison had other victims, investigators in East Cleveland are determined to find them.
"It's going to be an ongoing investigation. We're nowhere near done," said Chief of Police Ralph Spotts. "There's a lot more we have to do, and I'm sure you understand that we don't want to jeopardize anything that could lead to prosecution," he said.
East Cleveland cops, with the help of a half dozen other agencies, are searching, somewhat hoping to end up empty-handed.
"I hope and pray that there are no more victims," said Mayor Gary Norton. After a first body was found Friday afternoon, every tip has been pursued, leading to the discovery of two other victims.
Madison, 35, is facing aggravated murder and kidnapping charges for the murders of three women. One of them is 38-year-old Angela Deskins. The other two still Jane Does.
"These individuals unfortunately were very decomposed at the time they were recovered. For this reason, we can't release a final cause of death at the present time," said Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson.
The office hopes DNA profiles and dental records will help find a match.
"Identification in these circumstances can take up to several days. We want to get it right obviously because it's the worst news I think somebody will get," said Gilson.
Could there be more bodies?
East Cleveland police sources say they believe the murders took place at the apartment Madison rented on Shaw and Hayden.
The crime scene has already been thoroughly searched: 12 streets and more than 50 abandoned homes over the weekend. But they aren't ruling out the possibility.
"We did have information that we felt that there may be more to this, which is why we are continuing to do searching, we're continuing to use other agencies to help us along," said Spotts.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is processing evidence collected at the scene and the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force is looking into as many missing persons cases as possible.
"I think we have a community obligation to leave no stone unturned," said Mayor Norton.