Indiana police detain man in deaths of 4 women

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HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana man confessed to killing a woman whose body was found in a Motel 6 and told police where the bodies of three more women could be found, police said Sunday.

Gary police found the bodies of three women at different locations in Gary late Saturday and early Sunday, following up on information the 43-year-old man provided during questioning, Hammond police Lt. Rich Hoyda said.

The Lake 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. The Post-Tribune of Merrillville reported Jones had been missing since Oct. 8 and Gary police had searched a block recently looking for her.

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 late Saturday afternoon and took the man into custody. Hoyda said the man confessed during questioning and then told police "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 three women.

Gary police Cpl. Gabrielle King said police received information between 11:07 p.m. Central time Saturday and 12:30 a.m. Sunday that there were bodies in three different locations in Gary. Those locations were within a four-mile radius. The motel in Hammond where the other body was found is about six miles west.

Hoyda said the man's name is not being released because he has not been charged. He would not say when charges will be filed. He is being held in the Hammond City Jail.

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