Elias Acevedo Sr. was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday on charges in the 1994 slaying of a 30-year-old woman after new information recently surfaced in the disappearance of another young woman.
Acevedo, a Cleveland resident, faces four counts of aggravated murder, 173 counts of rape, 115 counts of kidnapping and one count of gross sexual imposition, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said.
The 49-year-old Acevedo is accused in the death of his neighbor, Pamela Pemberton, in October 1994, and of another woman called “Jane Doe” in 1995. Investigators believe the latter woman was Christina Adkins, a pregnant 18 year old who went missing in 1995, reported NBC.
Acevedo became a suspect in the murders after the arrest of Ariel Castro, who was found to have kidnapped three girls and held them in his home for around a decade. Castro was convicted of kidnapping and sexual crimes and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
He recently hanged himself in his prison cell on Sept. 3.
Acevedo and Castro lived in the same neighborhood.
An attorney who represents Acevedo in a separate case said Thursday that he has not been assigned to him in this case and could not comment.
An FBI evidence team last week discovered human remains not far from where Pemberton’s body was found. An identification card belonging to Adkins was found nearby, and the medical examiner’s office is working to determine if the remains are those of Adkins.
Acevedo, a convicted sex offender, also has been indicted in a separate case as a result of a rape kit that was recently tested from a 1993 case, McGinty said.
“This should send a message to other sex offenders that you can run, but you cannot hide; and as a promise kept to survivors and their families, we will never forget, nor will we ever give up,” McGinty said in a written statement.
Joe Frolik, spokesman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office told Reuters that Acevedo has confessed to the murders and that authorities would not seek the death penalty, similar to Castro’s case.
Acevedo is expected to be arraigned on Monday morning.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.