updated 9/5/2004 5:55:15 PM ET 2004-09-05T21:55:15

A body found in July behind a vacant apartment building in Kansas City has been linked to five others discovered since Thursday in the same part of the city, police said Sunday.

At a news conference, police Capt. Rich Lockhart said three of the victims had been identified, while the other three bodies were so decomposed that police have not been able yet to determine their race or gender.

The body of 42-year-old Anna Ewing was found July 14 by a man spraying for weeds, he said. Because her body was discovered in the same 18-square-block area, and because all six were found on or near a vacant property, police consider Ewing’s death to be related.

“The neighbors in that area, they have reasons to be concerned,” Lockhart said. “But I don’t think it’s something to cause great panic. They just need to be vigilant.”

The bodies of 45-year-old Patricia Wilson Butler and a 38-year-old woman were found Thursday in a detached garage after someone notified police of a foul odor. Lockhart said one of the bodies was badly decomposed while the other had only been there about two days.

Police were not releasing the name of the 38-year-old until relatives had been notified.

Another body was found Friday behind a vacant house in the same area after someone called 911 and told police where to find it. On Saturday, police believe the same caller told a 911 operator where to find two more badly decomposed bodies.

He said investigators were extremely interested in talking to the 911 caller.

“Certainly that person has information about the crimes that we’d like to know,” Lockhart said.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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