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Cleveland man facing murder charge for body found buried in basement

CLE police find at least one body in basement of west side home
Posted at 3:50 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 15:50:20-05

CLEVELAND — A murder charge has been filed against a Cleveland man accused of killing a 41-year-old man and burying him in the basement of his West 49th Street home in the city's Brookside neighborhood.

Andrew Douglas Smith, 28, is charged with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, according to Cleveland Municipal Court records.

Jail records say that on Tuesday a sergeant in the Cleveland Division of Police's Homicide Unit received a tip that Smith killed a man and buried his body in his basement.

Police went to the Smith's home in the 4000 block of West 49th Street and recovered the body of James Bennett, 41, of Cleveland Heights.

Authorities said the man was found buried several feet under the basement floor. A neighbor told News 5 that investigators brought in hazmat suits and shovels to recover the remains.

An autopsy was performed and the manner of death was ruled a homicide. The cause of death has not been released.

Smith was already incarcerated for a separate matter when police went to his home on Tuesday. He remains in custody.

A court date hasn't been determined.

RELATED: Body found buried in basement of Cleveland home; person of interest in custody

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