Authorities identified the first of the seven victims as Afrika (also spelled Afrikka, in some accounts) Hardy, 19. Hardy was found unresponsive at a Motel 6 in the 3800-block of 179th Street in Hammond (shown above) around 9:30 p.m. Friday, October 17, 2014. An autopsy found on Sunday that she died as a result of strangulation.
Officials said three bodies were then discovered in abandoned homes in Gary late Saturday night, based on a statement or confession from the man in custody. He told officers over the course of time where six other women's bodies could be found. He may have talked of killing women over the course of several years.
The body of a woman police identified as Anith Jones, 35, of Merrillville, Indiana, was found in the 413 E. 43rd Avenue (shown above) in Gary, Indiana.
Late on Sunday, another body, that of 36-year-old Christine Williams, was found at 2200 Massachusetts St. in Gary, Indiana.
"Once we find out who they are, we can do a timeline back to see who the last person was that they talked to or last person was who they were with and then the investigation can really take off," Gary Police Department Cpl. Gabrielle King said.
The man in custody has not yet been charged. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson confirmed he is a sex offender from Austin, Texas, who moved to Gary in 2004.
The mayor said he moved many times and has court cases pending. He is also recently divorced. Freeman-Wilson said he filed in Lake Superior Court in East Chicago, Ind.
Police found three more bodies in Gary overnight. A total of seven bodies, all female, were discovered in northwest Indiana over the weekend, according to the Lake County coroner's office.
One body was found in the 4300-block of Massachusetts Street and two bodies were found in the 400-block of East 43rd Avenue Sunday night.
The suspect is Darren Deon Vann, 43. He is a former U.S. Marine, and a convicted sex offender in Texas.