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AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Authorities in Summit County are investigating the gruesome murders of three men, found bound and gagged at two separate crime scenes in Akron and Copley on Friday morning. The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office says all three of the victims were shot in the head.

A passerby made the first shocking discovery at 8:35 a.m. Friday on Cordova Avenue in West Akron, when he spotted two bodies on the side of the road.

The man told a 911 dispatcher that the two victims were bound and gagged and that one of them was face up, and the other one was face down.

Akron police responded to the scene and gathered evidence, in their effort to determine how, why and where the victims were murdered.

Investigators say it appears the killer or killers carefully chose the area where the bodies were dumped. 

“Very preliminary in that way, crimes are crimes of opportunity, this is heavily wooded and not very lit, it’s very dark, very secluded,” said Akron Police Lt. Mike Miller.

A short time after the gruesome discovery in Akron, a third body was found dumped along Wright Road in nearby Copley.

A passerby told the 911 dispatcher, “it looked like there was somebody laying in the ditch, so I turned around, and I think this guy is dead, laying in the ditch with tape on his mouth.”

The discovery of the three bodies in such close proximity, just 2.2 miles apart, and the fact that all three victims were bound, gagged and shot in the head, is alarming to residents in neighborhoods in Copley and West Akron.

However, Copley Police Chief Michael Mier says he does not believe the general public is in any danger. Chief Mier told Fox 8, ” I think based on the fact that there’s two bodies in Akron, and one body here and some similarities, that these folks were probably targeted and that it’s something to do with their lifestyle and whatever they’re involved in, and it doesn’t involve the general public.”

Police in Akron and Copley are coordinating their investigations, their search for the killer or killers, and the motive for the vicious crimes.

“It does take the wind out of you when you hear not one, two and or three very close by. It says that someone is responsible for the deaths of three young men and we’re going to do everything we can in our power to find out who and bring them to justice,” said Lt. Miller.

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office says the three victims have not yet been identified.