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Sowell Trial: Dramatic testimony from survivor, victim family members

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

The prosecution continued calling witnesses in the Cleveland Strangler trial Wednesday morning.

First on the stand, Brandon Pompey, a former tenant of Anthony Sowell's Imperial Avenue home. He and his wife lived on the home's second floor.

Pompey says a foul odor and rats appeared not long after Sowell moved in. He testified the smell was so bad that he and his family moved out and left much furniture behind because of the fear the smell would follow.

"We speculated that maybe there was some maybe a dead animal or something of that effect that maybe had crawled under the house," Pompey said.

Next on the stand, Adlean Atteberry. She is the mother of murder victim Michelle Mason, whom she described as always having a sunny disposition. Like the families of other victims found in Sowell's home, Adlean is describing a history of drug abuse. 

She says in recent years, she talked daily with her daughter. She filed a missing persons report after not hearing from her for two days. 

Adlean found it odd that when her family put up missing persons fliers in Sowell's neighborhood, they would always disappear. She says she was told by a store owner that it was Sowell who removed the missing persons fliers from his store.

"The gentleman in the store said that Mr. Sowell came in and when he left out the signs was gone," Adlean said.

Michelle's sister, Mary, says she was in recovery, clean and sober when she disappeared.

Prosecutors are building a case that Sowell preyed on women with drug dependency to lure them to his home.

Sonya and Anthony Dozier, the daughter and son of murder victim Crystal Dozier, took the witness stand late Wednesday morning. Anthony described how he and other family members criss-crossed the area near where his mother disappeared putting up fliers.

Yvonne McNeill Williams, mother of victim Tishana Culver, also took the stand before the court recessed for lunch.

Vanessa Gay, who claims to be an attack survivor told the court how Sowell raped her repeatedly and how she found a decapitated body in the home during her escape. Gay also mentioned lack of police concern.

Barbara Carmichael, mother of victim Tonia Carmichael was the final witness of the day.

Sowell faces the death penalty if convicted of murdering eleven women. The bodies of the victims were found in and around Sowell's Imperial Avenue home in late 2009.

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