Leaders on Cleveland's east side rally for safety as police work to solve recents murders

CLEVELAND - Cleveland police are questioning one man in connection with an attack that happened last week. They also have one man in custody for the recent murder of a woman on East 93rd Street late last month.

The developments come as the east side community rallies together for fear that they may have another Anthony Sowell on their streets. Sowell was convicted two years ago for killing 11 women and stashing their bodies in and around his Imperial Avenue home. In the last two weeks, three east side women have been attacked. Two of them were killed.

"Our women aren't safe, our communities aren't safe," said Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed who serves the city's southeast side.

Reed, Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell and east side pastors held a public meeting Wednesday urging residents to be vigilant and report suspicious activity.

"We don't know who they are but if you have any information with regards to the capture or incarceration of these predators who are praying on our daughters, our nieces, our sisters, we are concerned," said Cleveland Pastor Dr. Aaron Phillips.

Cleveland police arrested Jerome Ogletree in connection with the death of Jazmine Trotter. The 20-year-old was found behind an abandoned house on East 93rd Street on March 24. However, no charges have been filed against Ogletree.

Early Saturday morning, 20-year-old Cleveland resident Raven Freeman was attacked on East 116th Street near Harvey Avenue while she waiting for the bus to take to work. Police said the man they're questioning was arrested on warrants for other crimes.

"Help us make our community a safe place again," said Pastor Grady Stevenson of Damascus Road Ministries.

There's been no arrest made in the death of 45-year-old Christine Malone yet. Malone was found in a field near East 93rd on Bessemer just days after Trotter was discovered. Autopsy reports show both women died in similar ways.

"We want to get in front of this situation," Phillips said. "As members of the faith community, this is about our community being safe and secure from these predators."

Police and community leaders are asking east side residents to be aware of their surroundings, don't get distracted by cell phones or listening to music, notify friends or family of your intended destination and whereabouts and call police if you see anything suspicious.

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