BROCKTON – Authorities say an arrest warrant has been issued for a Dorchester man in connection with the murder of a New Jersey woman.
According to authorities, they obtained an arrest warrant for Fernando Owens of Dorchester. Owens is wanted for the November 3rd murder of 29-year-old Ashley Bortner of New Jersey,police say. Bortner was found dead and burning on train tracks, according to police. Authorities say her body was burned over 70%, she had been gagged by her own clothing and her face was wrapped with a towel and she was found in a comforter. Bortner's hands and feet were bound behind her and electrical cord was around her neck.
Authorities say in addition arrest warrants were issued against a Manchester, N.H. married couple, charging them with Accessory After the Fact of Murder. Julian Squires and Shannon Squires were arraigned Monday on charges they mislead investigators. On Tuesday, those charges were upgraded for their alleged roles in Bortner's death, according to investigators.
State Police investigators have determined that Owens was acquainted with the victim in this case and that he believed Bortner had a hand in the recent death of Fernando's son, Domenic Owens. Police say they seized items from Fernando Owens' home in Dorchester that link him to the murder, including the same sort of Egyptian cotton bath towel and identical electrical cord found on the victim.
Authorities say phone records from the Squires put the couple in Bridgewater around the time of the 911 call to Bridgewater Police on November 3rd. Additionally, the Squires own a vehicle similar to the dark SUV described by the 911 caller, according to authorities.
The couple is currently still being held on bail in the misleading police charge.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Fernando Owens is encouraged to contact State Police at 508-947-8087 or Bridgewater Police at 508-697-6118.