A suspect was arrested at 5 p.m. Sunday in connection with two bodies found Friday on a private property in Buena Vista Township, State Police said.
Lt. Stephen Jones said police are not searching for any other suspects, although the investigation is continuing.
Police did not release the suspect’s identity Sunday afternoon, saying more information would be released Monday.
State Police and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed Sunday that human remains were discovered Friday in Buena Vista.
There is no imminent danger to local residents, the Prosecutor’s Office said in a release issued Sunday afternoon.
The Prosecutor’s Office and Atlantic County Medical Examiner’s Office are assisting State Police with the investigation.
State Police at the Buena Vista barracks said the crime scene in the township was no longer active but declined to provide an exact location.
Harding Highway resident Lucy Lilio was shocked Sunday by the news that two bodies had been unearthed just days before.
“I can’t believe this happened here. It’s so quiet around here, and it’s just across the street,” Lilio said.
Lilio said she saw police activity across from her home and next door to her son’s home Thursday night on the 1100 block of Harding Highway.
“My son came home and saw an unmarked police car parked in the middle of the road, and he was told they were investigating a burglary. Well, when I saw more police cars coming, I knew it wasn’t a burglary,” said Lilio, a 45-year resident of the township.
After Lilio read the news and watched television reports of the remains found in the township, she said she knew.
The home has been empty for some time now, and Lilio said she hasn’t seen much activity there except for last week.
“I knew the people that lived there at one time several years ago. The wife was Mimi, and they were Egyptian and were very nice. I knew them to say hello and wave, and they always told me if I needed anything they were there. Since then, it’s been people renting the house after Mimi passed away,” Lilio said.
Lilio said she saw a shallow hole at the rear of the home across the street from her. The home sits on about 15 acres across from Lilio’s almost 10-acre property.
“I don’t know why whoever did it did this, but that hole wasn’t very deep,” she said.
The small, ranch-style home is fenced in with a rusty chainlink fence, and a muddy driveway leads to the back of the home and the woods. Behind the home, the mud deepens and fresh tire tracks can be seen leading to an opening in a wooded area. A short walk up that muddy path, tamped with footprints, is a shallow, square hole, and across from that hole is a pile of dirt near tree stumps protruding from the ground.
Suzanne Levari said she watched across the open field from her home’s window Thursday night and Friday, wondering what was going on at the home as police swarmed the area. The night in this farming community was abuzz with police activity, but Levari said the only thing she was able to see were police lights flashing in the dark.
Levari said she and other neighbors and friends in the township searched for answers as to what was happening.
“The rumor mill started quite quickly, and there were all kinds of things being said. But then hearing two bodies were found here, I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.
On Sunday evening, the police lights were gone and quiet had returned, and Levari said she was more at ease knowing that police had made an arrest.
“I am definitely so relieved. It was really scary. It’s a sense of not knowing what’s going on and not knowing if you’re safe. I would not at all expect something like this to happen here. It’s quiet. It’s a farming community,” she said.
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