Man charged after third body found buried in home
A police officer carries bagged evidence away, after authorities searched a home Wednesday where at least two bodies were found.
HAMMOND, Indiana (CNN) -- A man with a history of violence against boys was charged with murder Thursday in connection with the deaths of three teens found buried in the basement of the house he was living in, police said.
The victims have been identified by Lake County Coroner David Pastrick as Nick James, 19, James Raganyi, 16, and Michael Dennis, 13. All three had been missing for a number of months.
Suspect David Maust -- in police custody since Tuesday -- has confessed to killing Raganyi as the two drank together, according to police.
"As this young man consumed the beverages and became intoxicated, Mr. Maust did take a rope and did strangle this young man," said Hammond Police Chief John Cory.
"And after strangling him, did in fact wrap his body in plastic and at another point in time did take that body to the basement, and did bury that body beneath the concrete surface."
Pastrick said cause of death for James was blunt force trauma.
"On the 13 and 16-year-old, at this time, we are not ruling out suffocation and strangulation," he said.
Police began to focus on Maust as detectives looked for what the missing teens had in common.
"What brought us to him was the fact that through our investigation we had found out that these young people had been basically, if you will, hanging around with Mr. Maust," Cory said.
Police made arrangements with Maust's landlord to enter the house with cadaver-sniffing dogs. The bodies were discovered under concrete that had been poured in the basement.
Maust history of violence
Maust pleaded guilty to murdering a boy in Illinois in 1981, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison, but was paroled in 1999. He was also convicted of assaulting another boy in Texas.
Based on Maust's history of violence, police said they will check in other jurisdictions to see if they have an similar unresolved cases.
Hammond is about 25 miles south of Chicago's city center, just over the Indiana border near Gary.