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Is Ohio serial killing suspect linked to cases here?

Local law enforcement officials are awaiting word from FBI investigators before looking into possible ties between a former Parris Island recruit accused of killing 11 women in Ohio and any unsolved murders in the Beaufort area.

Anthony Sowell, 51, was indicted by a Cleveland, Ohio, grand jury on 85 criminal charges related to the murder of 11 women, whose remains were found buried in and around his duplex. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity during an arraignment hearing last week in Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Court.

FBI behavioral specialists are trying to develop a profile of Sowell's killings that could help determine whether previously unsolved cases should be reopened, particularly near areas where Sowell was stationed during his military career, the Associated Press reported.

Calls to the FBI's Cleveland field office were not returned.

Sowell was a recruit at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island from January to April 1979, said Maj. Shawn Haney, spokesman for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at Headquarters Marine Corps in Virginia. Sowell's career as a Marine ended in 1985 and included stops at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Because he was only in the Beaufort area as a recruit and would not have been allowed off-base, Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy said he doubted Sowell would be a suspect in any of the city's cold cases during that time frame.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office is awaiting word from federal investigators before ruling out ties between Sowell and any unsolved murders in the county, said Cpl. Robin McIntosh, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

"We haven't made any determination about his involvement with anything here," McIntosh said. "We're still waiting word from (the FBI) about the time frame we're looking at but I don't think we have developed anything more definitive."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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