Shaeaun Childs knew the foul stench coming from the garage wasn't just a blocked up sewer.
"I couldn't put up with it. I didn't know if I wanted to throw up. It was definitely something rotting," says Childs.
Customers of his cable business had complained and when he opened the door to search for a dead animal, swarms of flies came crawling through a hole from the adjoining garage, indicating something far more sinister, CNN's Ana Coren reports.
"That was my fear because the smell was that bad and I knew an animal don't last that long when it's rotten," says Childs.
Police were called to the scene and made the grisly discovery, a young woman's body wrapped in plastic garbage bags. Another body was found in an open field and a third in the basement of a nearby abandoned building.
Police arrested 35-year-old Michael Madison, a registered sex offender and owner of the garage. Madison told police he was inspired by serial killer Anthony Sowell who was convicted in 2011 of killing 11 women in Cleveland - he's now on death row.
The case was known as the House of Horrors.
There is now a fear in this small community that a gruesome history may be repeating itself.