CHICAGO -- Detectives who have long wondered if John Wayne Gacy killed others besides the 33 young men he was convicted of murdering may soon get to search for bodies underneath an apartment complex where Gacy's late mother once lived.

Frank Bilecki, a spokesman for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, Saturday confirmed a Chicago Sun-Times report that Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez agreed to ask a judge for a warrant to search the housing complex on the city's Northwest Side. Such requests for search warrants are routinely approved.

Dart has been pushing Alvarez's office for months to sign off on the warrant, but Bilecki said the sheriff's office was asked for more evidence. Dart's office then found records showing that Gacy, a contractor, had done handyman work at the complex, and it located witnesses whose sworn affidavits raised questions about Gacy's activities there.

"These people in their affidavits stated that he was seen at odd hours doing odd jobs around the building," Bilecki said.

Investigators would bring in high-tech thermal imaging devices that detect underground anomalies indicating something may have been buried, Bilecki said. At the same time, searchers would bore holes in the ground and have FBI cadaver dogs sniff the holes' openings for the scent of human remains.

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"It should initially be a pretty non-invasive [search]," he said.

A search would be the latest twist in one of the most terrifying crime sprees in American history, one that ended when investigators discovered 29 bodies buried in the crawl space of Gacy's Chicago-area home and yard in the 1970s. Gacy was arrested in 1978, convicted in 1980 and executed in 1994.

Gacy's case has remained in the headlines thanks largely to Dart, who has been trying to identify the remains of still unknown victims and who has questioned whether there may be victims whose remains either haven't been found or haven't been linked to the serial killer.