Authorities in Massachusetts issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for an "acquaintance" of Ashley Bortner, a Paulsboro woman whose body was found gagged and burning near railroad tracks in Bridgewater, Mass., this month.
Fernando Owens, 43, of the Dorchester section of Boston, is wanted for the slaying of Bortner, 29, authorities said. Investigators discovered the same type of Egyptian cotton bath towel in Owens' home that had been wrapped around Bortner's face when she was found Nov. 3, the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office said.
Prosecutors said Owens believed Bortner was involved in the slaying of son Dominic, 21, who was shot on a Boston street. The shooting occurred the night before Bortner was found.
Bortner's hands and feet were bound, and more than 70 percent of her body was burned, authorities said. She had been gagged with her own clothing and had an electrical cord around her neck, authorities said.
The District Attorney's Office declined to elaborate on the relationship between Bortner and Fernando Owens.
A married New Hampshire couple who police said were also with Owens and Bortner the night of her death have been charged with accessory after the fact of murder, authorities said.
Police traced the phones of Julian Squires, 40, and Shannon Squires, 39, to the town where Bortner's body was found the night of her death. Their phones were also in Bridgewater when a 911 call was made around 11:40 p.m. about a suspicious SUV near the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority railroad tracks, prosecutors said.
The couple own a vehicle similar to that SUV, authorities said.
Julian Squires was being held Tuesday on $100,000 bail and Shannon Squires on $20,000 bail.
Anyone with information on Fernando Owens, who authorities said was "armed and extremely dangerous," is being asked to call Massachusetts State Police at 508-947-8087 or Bridgewater Police at 508-697-6118.