Springfield man indicted on 52 charges after bodies of 3 women found at home

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. (WHDH) - A Springfield man has been indicted on 52 charges, including murder, after the bodies of three women were found at his home in May, officials said.

Stewart Weldon was indicted Thursday by a Hampden County Grand Jury on charges including three counts of murder, eight counts of strangulation, nine counts of aggravated rape, two counts of rape, five counts of aggravated kidnapping, four counts of kidnapping and two counts of assault to rape.

The indictments, which stretch over a year’s time and involve 11 different victims, stem from a traffic stop on May 27 in which police say officers encountered a woman who claimed that she was being beaten and held captive by Weldon.

Authorities searched Weldon’s Page Boulevard home on May 30 and found the remains of three women on his property, officials said.

The women whose bodies were found at Weldon’s home were identified by Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni as Ernestine Ryans, 47, and America Lyden, 34, both of Springfield, and Kayla Escalante, 27, of Ludlow, a neighboring town.

“I thank the Springfield Police Department’s Homicide Unit and my Office’s Murder Unit, specifically Assistant District Attorney Max Bennett,” Gulluni said in a press release. “They managed a very complicated crime scene and early investigation very effectively and collected and organized a tremendous amount of evidence, which was presented to the Grand Jury to secure these indictments. With these fifty-two indictments in hand, we will now begin a vigorous prosecution with an eye towards justice for the victims and their families.”

It’s not clear how long the bodies had been at Weldon’s home.

Weldon is being held on $1 million bail. He is due back in court at a later date.

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