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Sheriff: Man May Have Slain 8 Women

August 24, 2001

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) _ A man who has already been charged with one slaying says he may have killed as many as eight women, a sheriff said Friday.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla would not say how much credence he is giving to the statements of Steve Moorehead, 39, who had originally claimed to have killed three women.

``The more bodies we find, the more credence I’ll give it,″ Abdalla said.

Moorehead and another man, Fred Horner, 38, are charged with murder in the shooting death of Becky Mitchell, 33. Her burned body was found near a forest five miles from Steubenville after Moorehead told police where to look for it.

The sheriff said Moorehead confessed to the crime.

``He shot her after he had sex with her. She was shot in the back of the head,″ Abdalla said.

The sheriff said Moorehead confessed to other slayings ``to get it off his chest″ and that he said killing ``gives him a rush.″

Moorehead said he had dumped one body in the Ohio River and another in an oil drum in an unspecified location, the sheriff said. Divers and dogs searched the Ohio River and found women’s underwear early Friday, he said.

The two men were arrested Monday in a bar fight in Putnam County, Ind. After Moorehead told authorities he had killed three women in Ohio, both men were returned to Ohio on Wednesday after waiving extradition.

Court officials said Friday that neither man has been assigned an attorney.

Abdalla said authorities were checking to see if there was a link between Moorehead’s claims and the slaying of a woman whose body, burned and wrapped in plastic, was found Aug. 16 south of Columbus.

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