By BILL DRAPER
OTTAWA -- Authorities in eastern Kansas on Tuesday were investigating the deaths of three people whose bodies were found on a rural property a day after friends of the residents called police to report a foul smell at the site.
The bodies of two adult men and one woman were found Monday on the farm west of Ottawa, which is located about 60 miles southwest of Kansas City, Sheriff Jeff Richards said at a news conference.
"We have three homicides on a very large scene," Richards said.
Richards declined to release other details, including the victims' identities or how they were killed.
Kortni McGill, of Ottawa, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she and Corey Schlotzhauer, 26, went to the home Monday afternoon and saw in the garage a dead body covered in a tarp and weighted down with a cinder block.
"I reached down and saw teeth through the square in the cinder block. I said, 'Corey, there's a body here,"' McGill said.
McGill said she and Schlotzhauer had also gone to the property to feed the resident's animals Sunday when they noticed the foul smell. McGill said they called authorities then and an officer responded, checked the home and the garage and said the smell was likely trash and left.
She said the resident had been missing since late April.
McGill and Schlotzhauer returned to the home Monday with another friend, Shona Osladil, 22, of Ottawa, and looked around, when they found the body in the garage under the tarp. She said at first they thought it was sandbags.
McGill said the body appeared to have decayed and that they also saw a bag of baby clothes and a child's sleeping bag on top of the tarp. They then called 911 again.
Richards also acknowledged Tuesday that deputies had been to the scene Sunday and found nothing. He said when officers responded Monday, they got a search warrant and found the other bodies.
Osladil said she was upset with the way authorities handled the matter.
"I'm very frustrated," she said. "Without us going out there how long would it have been before they found that body?"