Follow CBSPHILLY Facebook | Twitter
WILLINGBORO, N.J. (CBS) — SWAT officers swarmed a South Jersey neighborhood just hours after a 21-year-old woman was found dead in her nearby car Thursday. Now, the search for her killer is intensifying. Maribely Lopez was found shot to death inside a car on Medley Lane in Willingboro on Thursday morning.
Eyewitness News was at the scene Thursday night when two loud bangs were heard as SWAT officers entered a home just a few houses down. Sources tell Eyewitness News the house is tied to the murder investigation.
Willingboro Township Police cordoned off the area surrounding a home on Marlboro Lane, which SWAT members entered moments before. Flashes from cameras snapping photos of evidence could be seen through the blinds of the home.
The house is just one street away from an unsolved murder, and sources close to the investigations say the two are related, though they won’t say how.
The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office says Lopez was inside a red sedan, parked along Medley Lane, when she was shot and killed from at least one gunshot wound.
Police arrived to the scene around 8:20 a.m. Thursday, but earlier, neighbors say they saw the car running and didn’t think twice about it.
“I didn’t think nothing. I didn’t see any bullet holes in the car or anything, so I didn’t think nothing,” neighbor Evonne Hudson said. “People warming up their car, that’s what I thought was going on.”
The 21-year-old is from Lindenwold, about 30 minutes from where her body was discovered. Family gathered at her home, but were simply too upset to speak.
But Lopez’s close friend says he’s at a loss for why someone would hurt her.
“I still can’t believe it, it’s shocking. Who did it to her? She was a good person, a good sister, a good friend, always there when you need her,” Lopez’s friend said.
The prosecutor’s office is asking anyone with information to come forward.