By Jacqueline L. Urgo and Kera Ritter Inquirer Staff Writers
MAYS LANDING, N.J. – The bodies of four women were found in a drainage ditch yesterday behind a string of motels on the Black Horse Pike, according to Atlantic County Prosecutor Jeffrey S. Blitz.
The victims were found face down in several inches of water behind the Golden Key Motel, Fortune Inn, and Star Motel.
Two women walking along a dirt access road off the westbound lane of the Black Horse Pike discovered one body about 3 p.m.
Egg Harbor Township police investigating that death found the other bodies. The victims were found some distance apart from one another, Blitz said.
None of the bodies had been identified late last night.
The causes of death were not readily available, although initial reports were that the women had been shot. Autopsies were scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. today.
Last night, neighbors crowded the scene and motorists slowed down as they passed the one-story buildings with neon signs flashing “vacancy” and “open.” Low-income and immigrant families often live in the motels, which advertise rooms for $15 a night.
“You don’t really stay here unless you’re involved in some sort of illegal activity,” said Heather Martina, 22, who was out for a drive with two friends and stopped at the scene when her sister sent a text message about the bodies. “But to hear four people shot at one time, it’s shocking.”