Authorities are continuing to investigate the discovery of a body in a suitcase behind the old Shore Mall.
Egg Harbor Township residents that live on Broadway Avenue, just behind the old Shore Mall, say the woods that surround their homes are usually quiet and peaceful - but after learning that a woman's body was found in a suitcase, just a couple hundred yards from where their children play, parents say they're stunned. One resident told NBC40, "It just puts some perspective in my mind, that there must have been a murderer that drove by my house, you know? It's just a scary thought."
James P. McClain, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor, said, "As of 1:29pm Sunday January 5th, human remains were found in a wooded area of Egg Harbor Township."
Margate Police Sergeant Mark Ciambrone made the discovery while hunting in the area just off Broadway and Ninth Avenue.
On Monday morning, authorities used shovels to dig through the mud, searching for more evidence. McClain explained, "Although the body appeared to be in a relatively advanced stage of decomposition, there were several identifiable tattoos on the body. More specific information about those tattoos will be released at the conclusion of the autopsy to assist in identification."
Residents who live in the area say people will often dump trash and unwanted items near the site of the discovery. Bill Sparkes said, "It's common practice for someone, especially back here on Broadway, they will dump trash back there." Another resident said, "There's always cars down here though - always someone coming down here who's not supposed to be down here."
The Atlantic County Prosecutor says the age and race of the victim are unknown at this time, but that an autopsy is being performed and more details could emerge within 24 hours.
McClain said, "I hope to at least be able to release sketches of these tattoos because at this point that is probably the best lead that we have towards identifying this individual."
Anyone with information pertaining to the case, or anyone who may have information about suspicious activity in the area, is asked to contact the Major Crimes Unit at 609-909-7666.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>