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Grim Sleeper cops search for women

Police in Los Angeles have released scores of photographs of unidentified women found at the home of a man accused of being a serial killer nicknamed the Grim Sleeper.

Investigators asked people who recognise any of the roughly 160 people in the 180 pictures to let them know their whereabouts.

Detectives found the photos, along with hundreds of hours of home video, when they searched the home of suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr in south Los Angeles in July. Some women are shown in more than one photo.

"Now that we know who he is and what type of activity he is involved in with women, we are very concerned for everyone in these photographs," Detective Dennis Kilcoyne said. "We don't know what we are going to learn today."

Franklin has pleaded not guilty to the murders of 10 women from 1985 to 1988 and from 2002 to 2007.

The apparent 14-year pause in the alleged crimes led to the nickname "Grim Sleeper", although detectives suspect Franklin could be involved in many other deaths.

The women in the photos appear to be a wide range of ages.

Some of the images are sexually explicit, and women appear to be willing participants, Det Kilcoyne said. "It baffles me how he is so successful at getting women to do what he asks them to do," he added. "It's not like we have pictures of him holding a knife to someone's neck."

All of the victims were killed within a few miles of Franklin's home in a neighbourhood where people knew him as a backyard mechanic. Police are reviewing more than 30 cold-case files to see if they can tie Franklin to other murders.

Franklin was taken into custody last summer after his son was arrested and swabbed for DNA. Using a technique known as a familial DNA search, the sample came back as similar to evidence in the serial killings, ultimately leading police to Franklin.

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