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By Kristen Bradley / News Staff Writer
Monday, January 10, 2005

MARLBOROUGH -- A resident walking her dog yesterday morning discovered the dead body of a woman near the Marlboro Fish and Game on Elm Street, leaving authorities questioning whether there's a connection between the latest discovery and the bodies of three other women found in Marlborough and Hudson since September 2003.

Police Chief Mark Leonard and Melissa Sherman, spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney's office, remained tight-lipped last night about the body. They said an investigation is under way and an autopsy will be performed today.

"Investigators are trying to determine if this incident is related to the other deaths in Marlborough and Hudson," Sherman said, adding that the discovery of the body is considered suspicious.

The woman who found the body called police at 11:30 a.m.

Authorities do not believe the area where the body was found is an active crime scene, Sherman said, and the woman's body was most likely dumped there. Sherman said the women's identity was not known last night. She did not have an approximate age or description.

When asked if the woman was found clothed or not, Sherman said, "We're not commenting on that."

Investigators are also checking missing persons reports, Sherman said.

Police continue to investigate the deaths of Carmen Rudy, Dinelia Torres and Betsy Montalvo -- all petite Hispanic women in their late 20s to early 30s -- whose remains were found in Marlborough and Hudson in late 2003 and March of last year. The women, all Worcester residents, worked as prostitutes to support drug addictions.

The body discovered yesterday on Elm Street was about 30 feet off the road, in a somewhat wooded area, one Fish and Game member said. That area remained guarded by Marlborough police late last night.

Rudy, Torres and Montalvo's bodies were all found in wooded areas, partially buried. Rudy and Montalvo were found behind the Hillside School on Robin Hill Road, near both Rte. 495 and Rte. 290. Torres' body was found a little over a mile away from the private boys school, just over the Hudson line on Brigham Street. Brigham Street is also near routes 290 and 495, and Elm Street runs directly over Rte. 495.

The deaths of Rudy, Torres and Montalvo have been ruled homicides with District Attorney Martha Coakley saying the deaths could be the work of a serial killer. The similarities in the women, their lifestyles and how they were disposed of, as well as the proximity of the bodies to major highways, has led investigators to believe the three deaths are the work of the same suspect.

And yesterday's finding brings the number of dead women found in the area to four, leaving one local resident on edge.

Jack Parker, who serves on the Fish and Game's board and lives off Elm Street, said he normally does not let things bother him. But with the earlier findings of Rudy, Torres and Montalvo and now this, he is a little concerned.

"It is getting to be a little strange, even for me, and I usually don't get too upset about these things," said Parker, a 30-year local who grew up in Hudson and later moved to Marlborough.

"It seems like it's the same person...someone who knows the area really well and is picking these spots. It's like somebody knows where to put the bodies where they won't be found. But they made a mistake this time. They thought (the body) would get covered in snow and wouldn't be found. I mean we were supposed to get 8 inches and we only got an inch...(so) the dog was able to pick that up."

Parker said years ago, the area behind the Hillside School where Rudy and Montalvo's bodies were found used to be a popular hunting area as well.

"It just seems like it's somebody who knows this area really well."
 
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