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Report: Kidnap suspect seen searching in dirt before bodies found

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© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Stewart Weldon

By Crimesider Staff, CBS News
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.

Neighbors of the man accused of holding a woman hostage witnessed concerning behavior from Stewart Weldon before police found three bodies on the property where authorities say he was living, reports the Boston Globe. According to the newspaper, Jerry Devalles said that he started walking his 21-year-old daughter to work last month after she complained that Weldon, who is being held on $1 million bail, was following her.

Another neighbor told that newspaper that on Sunday, the day Weldon, 40, was pulled over by police, he saw Weldon outside his home in the rain, "searching through the dirt like a madman." Devalles said he saw the man covered in dirt with a shovel.

CBS Boston reports that the Department of Children and Families took custody of a child from the home, which is owned by Weldon's mother.

The Globe also reports that Weldon was arrested three times in 2017 before police pulled him over Sunday and found him with the woman who told them he'd held her hostage. Most recently, according to the newspaper, he was seen assaulting a woman on the street, and when officers tried to arrest him h allegedly  bit one's leg. Police reportedly found two knives on him. Court records reportedly indicate that he was released on $1,000 bail posted by his mother and fitted with a GPS device that he allegedly cut off.

Weldon was arrested May 27 after a car chase that ended when he crashed into a police cruiser and wrestled with officers. A woman in Weldon's car said he held her captive for a month, sexually assaulted her and beat her with a hammer and other objects, police said.

"Thank you for saving my life," the woman told officers, according to a police report. "I never thought I would get away."

The woman was taken to a hospital with what police called "grotesque and violent" injuries, including a possible fractured jaw, stab wounds to her abdomen, marks from being hit with a blunt object and a leg infection. She was still in the hospital on Friday, according to Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni.

Weldon has pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges including kidnapping, sexually assault and torture. The public defender who represented Weldon at his arraignment didn't immediately return a message seeking comment. 

Three days after his arrest, police began searching the home where Weldon lived and have discovered three bodies. At a press conference Friday morning, Gulluni said that the identities of the people found had not been determined but that the bodies were now with the medical examiner who would be performing autopsies.

He would not confirm the gender of the bodies found. A cause of death hasn't been determined.

Gulluni also said that authorities were using ground penetrating radar in a continued search of the property.

"Our expectation is we're going to be here for days, if not longer than that," Gulluni said.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Report: Kidnap suspect seen searching in dirt before bodies found
Report: Kidnap suspect seen searching in dirt before bodies found
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U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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