CHICAGO (UPI) The decomposed bodies of at least five young people were found in the crawl space of a home owned by a man who frequently played a clown at children's functions, authorities said today.
The condition of the bodies made early identification impossible.
A hunt for more bodies In other areas was under way, police said.
The owner of the house, John Gacy, 37, was arrested, but not Immediately charged. He operated con traction business from his home and employed several several young men, neighbors said.
Investigators said Gacy served time in an Iowa prison on a conviction for a sex-related crime. They said be has an arrest record for other sex crimes.
Investigators said the victims appeared to be young adults, some possibly teen-agers or younger. The bodies were crammed into an area about 18 inches high and may have been covered with limestone to hasten decomposition.
Investigators said it was difficult to determine whether there were more victims because of the limited space in which they had to work.
The discovery of the bodies was made late Thursday night by police investigating the disappearance or Robert Piest, 15, a Des Plaines high school student.
Police said Piest had applied for a job with Gacy's construction company, PVM Construction. He was last seen about 9 p.m., Dec. 11, talking with a man fitting Gacy's description.
Neighbors said police had visited Gacy's home this week. The neighbors quoted Gacy as saying police were trying to "frame me" for a murder he knew nothing about.
Gacy's living room was adorned with a large picture of a clown, a role he played frequently at children's functions, a neighbor, Mrs. Lillian Grexa, said.
She called him, "an outgoing man," and "a really nice person, who'd give you the shirt off his back."
Another neighbor, Jenny Delaurentis, said Gacy "has a very good personality and we can't say anything bad about him." He was reported to have been married twice, both of them ending in divorces.