The bodies of seven women have now been found in northwestern Indiana after a man confessed to killing one woman who was found strangled at a motel and leading investigators to least three other bodies, authorities said Monday.
The Lake County coroner's office said three of the bodies were found Sunday night at two locations in Gary, in addition to the four bodies 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.
It wasn't immediately clear Monday whether the man directed police to the three bodies Sunday night. Phone and email messages seeking comment from Gary police spokeswoman Cpl. Gabrielle King weren't immediately returned.
Police said Sunday that a 43-year-old man confessed to killing a woman whose body was found in a Motel 6 in the neighboring city of Hammond and told investigators where the bodies of three other women could be found in Gary. Those women were found late Saturday and early Sunday.
Gary police found the bodies of three women at different locations in Gary late Saturday and early Sunday, following up on information the man provided during questioning, Hammond police Lt. Rich Hoyda said Sunday. The county coroner's office on Sunday identified the victim found in Hammond as 19-year-old Afrika Hardy and ruled she had been strangled.
The coroner's office said a second victim had been identified by family members as 35-year-old Anith Jones of Merrillville. Autopsies had not yet been completed on her or the other two women, who have not yet been identified. Jones had been missing since Oct. 8, and Gary police had recently searched a block looking for her, the Post-Tribune of Merrillville reported.
Police discovered Hardy's body about 9:30 p.m. Friday at a Motel 6.
"A friend of the deceased called us, and she was concerned when she didn't respond to her calling," 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 Saturday afternoon and took the man into custody. Hoyda said the man confessed during questioning and then told investigators "where several other female victims of possible homicide were located."
Hoyda wouldn't 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.
Hoyda said the man's name wasn't being released because he had not yet been formally charged. He would not say when charges will be filed. He was being held in the Hammond City Jail.