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Former Marine found dead on Cleveland's West Side was sex offender

10-8-2014 California:

A day after Edmunds Petersons' bruised body was discovered in his basement apartment, the proud former Marine's U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs badge drooped from the rearview mirror of his white Ford Explorer parked behind the home.

The badge dangled next to a pair of dog tags, a wreathed American flag bandana, a U.S. Marine Corps medallion and a bare metal cross -- trinkets that give a glimpse into the life of a 51-year-old sex offender Cleveland police say may have been the victim of a homicide.

A landlord found Petersons' body in a bed about 10:45 a.m. Sunday inside a duplex on the 1400 block of West 117th Street. Petersons head and body suffered contusions, but police did not see any seemingly fatal injuries, according to a division spokeswoman.

The 1999 Ford parked out back was adorned in Devil Dog swag. The front and rear license plates were held in U.S. Marine Corps frames. The service's seal clung to his rear window. Across from it was an "LV" sticker emblazoned with Latvia's flag.

A stick of lip balm and a hand grip exerciser rested in the front cup holders.

Petersons was sturdily built. Nearly 200 pounds filled his 5-foot, 7-inch frame. His most obvious identifying mark: a 4-inch cross tattooed onto his left forearm, according to the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office, which lists Petersons as a sex offender.

Petersons pleaded guilty in 2008 to abduction and gross sexual impositions, according to county court records. His victim was a 10-year-old girl he didn't know, the sheriff's office listed.

Peterson's death has not been ruled a homicide and the medical examiner has not determined a cause of death. Still, the Cleveland Division of Police Homicide Unit is investigating.

No one answered knocks to the doors Monday at Petersons' residence. His family could not be reached for comment. ..Source.. by Brandon Blackwell

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