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Four Bodies Found in Lot Near N.J. Church

November 27, 2004

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Four people were found shot to death Friday in a vacant lot next to a church, police said.

The victims were bleeding from the head, said Lt. Derek Glenn, a Newark police spokesman.

Four distinct blood stains could be seen on the ground next door to St. Thomas Aquinas Church, about six feet from a wooden fence that separates the lot from homes on another street.

A church groundskeeper discovered the bodies around 7:30 a.m., Glenn said.

Police identified the victims as Carmen Estronza, 34, and brothers Kyhron Ward, 26, and Jarmeil Ward, 24. The fourth victim’s identity was not released pending family notification.

Sean Alexander, 20, whose bedroom overlooks the lot, said he believed it was unlikely that the killings happened there.

``If they would have shot them right there, I would have heard them,″ Alexander said.

A spokeswoman for the Essex County prosecutor did not immediately return a call for comment.

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