Task force finds similarities in Atlantic City killings - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/25/06-EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, New Jersey

Task force finds similarities in Atlantic City killings

 Authorities have identified the second of four women whose bodies were found dumped behind a string of seedy motels earlier this week.

Tracy Ann Roberts, 23, whose last known address was in Atlantic City, died from asphyxia, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jeffrey S. Blitz announced late Friday night. However, he said Dr. Hydow Park -- the county medical examiner who performed autopsies on all four victims -- was unable to determine how she was killed.

Roberts had been in the ditch for anywhere from a couple days to a week.

The four bodies were found Monday behind motels on the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township, just west of Atlantic City.

Authorities have only been able to identify one other victim thus far, 35-year-old Kim Raffo, who they said died from strangulation and had been in the ditch for a couple of days. Autopsy results on the other two women were inconclusive.

Blitz said Raffo and Roberts had criminal records for prostitution, and authorities were trying determine whether the other victims also were prostitutes.

A task force convened to investigate the deaths has been comparing photographs, DNA samples and distinctive markings on some of the bodies in attempt to identify them. Based on the degree of decomposition, the bodies appear to have been placed in the ditch at varying times.

Authorities have resisted calling the deaths the work of a serial killer, although Blitz said Friday "certainly and clearly, there are similarities in all the deaths."

Three of the four were blonde. All were barefoot, and their bodies were arranged face-down with their heads pointing east toward the Atlantic City casinos.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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