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Ohio

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4 men fatally beaten in separate homes

BUCYRUS, Ohio – Authorities in Bucyrus are trying to figure out why four men were fatally beaten in four separate homes. A suspect is in custody but hasn’t been charged.

Police in Bucyrus, about 65 miles north of Columbus, said the slayings are likely related, but they don’t know whether the men knew each other. Two bodies were found Monday, and the two others were discovered Tuesday morning.

The suspect came into the police station and led officers to the last two bodies, authorities said. Prosecutor Matthew Crall told reporters Tuesday night that “charges will be filed as soon as possible.”

Crawford County Sheriff Scott Kent said Wednesday that the suspect gave some details as to why the killings occurred, but authorities aren’t releasing details. The sheriff’s office is assisting police in the investigation.

“One (slaying) can be complicated. Four is overwhelming,” Kent said.

Found dead Monday were Billy Jack Chatman, 55, and Freelin Hensley, 67, according to Crawford County Coroner Dr. Michael Johnson.

On Tuesday, the body of 65-year-old Darrell Lewis was found in his apartment. Johnson said the identity of the fourth victim, found in an apartment in the same complex Tuesday, hasn’t been confirmed.

Johnson said the deaths are homicides, but specific causes haven’t been determined. He said a preliminary autopsy report will be available Thursday.

“There was trauma to all of them,” Johnson said.

He said authorities believe the slayings are related “because of the sequence and time, and appearance of the scene.”

He declined to release any more details.

Crall and city police officials didn’t immediately return phone messages Wednesday.

Some of the residents of the town of 12,000 said they were worried about their safety in a place that is unaccustomed to violent crime but is battling a heroin epidemic.

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