Police yesterday continued their search for Harrison "Marty" Graham, who lived in the third-floor apartment at 1631 where the six bodies were discovered Sunday. The skull and torso were found at 1625 N. 19th St.
Officials also continued their efforts yesterday to identify the dead. The Medical Examiner's Office has determined that six were adult black women, two of whom had been strangled. One of those two, Mary Jeter Mathis, 36, formerly of the 2100 block of North Corlies Street, was identified by police on Thursday.
Police are "close" to identifying two more of the victims, according to police sources.
The building where the skull and torso were found is owned by Denard Smalley, who is believed to be a cousin of Gregory Smalley, the owner of the rowhouse at 1631 N. 19th St.
Common Pleas Court issued a bench warrant July 9 for Gregory Smalley on charges of rioting, disorderly conduct and making terroristic threats. On Dec. 20, 1985, the court issued a summary bench warrant for Denard Smalley for disorderly conduct. The warrants indicate that both men failed to appear for court appearances. Additional details on the charges were not available yesterday.
The District Attorney's Office notified police yesterday of the outstanding warrants against both men.
According to police sources, although 1631 N. 19th St. is deeded to Gregory Smalley, the property is controlled by Nathaniel Choice Sr., Smalley's father. Choice owns and resides at the building next door, at 1629 N. 19th St. Two other residences in the same block are owned by Choice's relatives, according to city records.
According to police records, Choice, 60, has been arrested 30 times since 1943. Three-fourths of the arrests were drug-related, including the most recent in 1984, when he was charged with delivery of controlled substances. The disposition of the arrests could not be determined yesterday.
Neighbors have complained for several years to police and other city agencies of drug activities at Choice's properties.
In 1982 and on Jan. 7, 1983, warning notices were issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspections classifying 1625 N. 19th St. as a public nuisance
because of building-code violations. The warnings were sent to Choice, according to a spokesman for L&I.
The property, purchased by Denard Smalley in 1984 for $500 at a sheriff's sale, was reinspected this week and found to contain numerous housing- and fire-code violations, including a lack of bathroom facilities, according to an L&I spokesman.
L&I also declared 1631 N. 19th St. unfit for habitation after the bodies were found this week.
Choice has publicly denied any involvement with the deaths at 1631 N. 19th St.
Since Monday, police have searched for more bodies in the four buildings adjacent to 1631 N. 19th St., and in those back yards and nearby empty lots. The skull and torso were found during a search of the basement of 1625 N. 19th St., a three-story brown brick home that looks identical to 1631.
Police officers were in the basement about 9:30 a.m. yesterday when the discovery was made.
Walking through wood and other debris and past a floor-to-ceiling brick wall that extended almost all the way across the basement, homicide Detective Gregory Rodden and Officer Anthony McBride of the Mobile Crime Detection Unit came upon a rear area that appeared as if it might have once held a coal bin, according to Lt. James A. Hansen.
They saw two piles of debris. Protruding from one of the piles was a corner of brown blanket, said Hansen. As they tugged gently at the blanket, they saw that it was wrapped with white electrical cord, Hansen said. A body found in Graham's closet, police have said, also was wrapped in white electrical cord.
They also saw, Hansen added, "the parts of a human skull. It had no flesh."
The Medical Examiner's Office was called immediately, but police sources said that it was apparent, by just feeling the blanket, that more bones were inside.
No other bones were found in either pile of debris.
Homicide Detective Capt. Robert Grasso said the occupants of the house had been questioned at police headquarters and released. Hansen said he talked to one of them - Joseph Johnson - briefly and said he did not think Johnson knew much about what went on in the basement.
The tenant had only lived in the house "a couple of months, and it was not the kind of basement that you did your laundry in," Hansen said.
Yesterday afternoon, the Medical Examiner's Office determined that the skull and torso were "of human origin," said John Domzalski, assistant health commissioner for forensic services.
Domzalski said that more tests would have to be completed before any link could be established between the skull and torso and the leg and foot bones.
Capt. Harold Feinman said the bodies found in Graham's apartment were "in full view," but the skull and torso were covered and in what "looked like a shallow grave."
Grasso that Graham was still the object of a citywide police search. "We believe he is still in the city, in the areas he is most familiar with," Grasso said.
Grasso said it was likely that police would remain on North 19th Street throughout the weekend.