The bodies of seven women have been found in Indiana after a man confessed to killing one woman and led investigators to at least three other bodies, authorities said.
The coroner’s office said three of the bodies were found on Sunday night at two locations in Gary, a city about 50km south east of Chicago, while the other four bodies were found earlier over the weekend.
The coroner’s office called the new deaths homicides, with one victim strangled and unspecified injuries for the other two women. At least three of the bodies were found in the same abandoned home in Gary, according to the coroner’s office. It was not immediately clear whether the man directed police to the three bodies on Sunday night.
Police said on Sunday that a 43-year-old man confessed to killing a woman whose body was found in a motel in the neighbouring city of Hammond and told investigators where the bodies of three other women could be found in abandoned homes in Gary.
Gary police found the bodies of three women at different locations in Gary late on Saturday and early on Sunday, following up on information the man provided during questioning, Hammond police lieutenant Rich Hoyda said. Mr Hoyda would not comment on how the man knew the women, on a possible motive or on whether the man confessed to killing any of the other women.
The county coroner’s office identified the victim found in Hammond as 19-year-old Afrika Hardy and ruled her death a strangulation.
A second victim has been identified by family members as 35-year-old Anith Jones, who had been missing since October 8th. Ms Jones’s body was found at the same address where two other bodies were found on Sunday night. Postmortem examinations are pending on those three women.
Police discovered Ms Hardy’s body at about 9.30pm on Friday at a motel. “A friend of the deceased called us, and she was concerned when she didn’t respond to her calling,” Mr Hoyda said. “We were sent there and found that person dead.”
Police investigating her death obtained a search warrant for a home and vehicle in Gary. Police conducted the search on Saturday afternoon and took the man into custody.
Mr Hoyda said the man confessed during questioning and then told investigators “where several other female victims of possible homicide were located”.
Mr Hoyda said the man’s name was not being released because he had not yet been formally charged.