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Police in northwest Indiana identified the suspected serial killer believed to have murdered seven women over an unknown time period, and warned at a news conference that the body count could rise.

The man accused of killing a woman Friday at a Hammond, Ind., Motel 6, and then leading authorities to a string of dead bodies dumped in abandoned homes in nearby Gary, was identified as Darren Deon Vann, 43, of Gary. Officials said he was convicted of sexual assault in Texas in 2009 and sentenced to five years in prison. He was released on July 5, 2013, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported. The mayor of Hammond said Vann admitted to two murders in Indiana in the 1990s, but details involving those were unavailable. So far, he has only been charged with the murder of Afrika Hardy, 19, who police said was a prostitute found strangled in the motel Friday evening. But authorities said more charges are certain, and more bodies are possible.

“It is possible the investigation could lead to more victims,” said Hammond Police Chief John Doughty, who said Vann admitted that his crimes in Indiana go back two decades.

The flurry of grisly discoveries began Friday, when Hammond police responded to a call of an unresponsive person at a Motel 6 and found the body of Hardy. Hardy’s pimp gave police information that led them to execute a search warrant on a home in Gary, where they took Vann into custody, Doughty said.

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