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Nov 24, 2015 2:57 PM

Manchester couple arrested in connection with murder of woman found burned on Mass. train tracks


MANCHESTER – New charges have been filed against a Manchester couple believed to be involved in the murder and disposal of a woman whose body was found burned and bound on railroad tracks earlier this month.

Julian Squires, 40, and his wife, Shannon, 39 of Manchester, were charged Tuesday with accessory after the fact of murder.

The couple was arraigned in court Monday on charges that they lied to detectives about the woman’s death.

Detectives questioned the couple after Ashley Bortner, 29 of New Jersey, was found dead on train tracks in Bridgewater, Mass., Nov. 3.

According to police, the couple admitted to being with the victim earlier the day she died but lied about their whereabouts later on that evening. Police believe Bortner was killed at another location before being dumped and set on fire in Bridgewater.

Evidence from cell phone towers put the couple in Bridgewater around 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 3, the same time police received a call of a fire burning on the MBTA train tracks.

Massachusetts State Police said Bortner had been gagged with clothing, an electrical cord was wrapped around her neck, her face had been wrapped in a towel and her body was wrapped in a comforter. Her hands and feet were bound behind her back and more than 70 percent of her body had been burned.

State Police have identified the suspect believed to be responsible for Bortner’s death. There is an active arrest warrant issued for Fernando Owens, of Dorchester. Police believe he could be armed and is extremely dangerous.

Police believe Julian and Shannon helped Owens after he killed Bortner.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Massachusetts State Police.

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