NEW YORK (AP) A New Jersey man who authorities say was charged with killing two women and injuring a third in New York and driving to New Jersey in a car with a dead woman in the back seat has been discovered dead, police said.
The New Jersey Medical Examiner’s Office identified the body as 29-year-old Akari Smith, of New Jersey City, police officials said in a statement on Friday.
The bodies of three other women were found in the SUV in New Brunswick on Saturday, officials said.
Police found the vehicle abandoned at the end of a cul-de-sac in New Castle County and searched the area but found no evidence of a crime.
Police say they are treating the case as a homicide.
A motive for the killings remains unclear.
Authorities say Smith and the woman who was found dead have been described as “close friends.”
Smith was charged Thursday with murder in the deaths of Akari, 28, and two other women.
The woman was found stabbed in the head and face, the New Jersey State Police said.
Her body was found in a shallow grave, and police found a dead dog and two small children in the vehicle, police say.
The victims were identified as: 30-yearold Akai Maitra, a native of the Philippines; 34-year old Nita Jadon, a New York native; and 25-year to 40-year of age, from Puerto Rico.