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Bodies in Detroit woods are those of missing women

Elizabeth Conley / AP

Relatives of Abreeya Brown and Ashley Conaway leave the scene where their bodies were found Sunday.

DETROIT -- The bodies of two women found over the weekend in a wooded area in Detroit are those of two best friends reported abducted nearly a month ago, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Wayne County medical examiner's spokeswoman Brooke Blackwell said the bodies of Abreeya Brown and Ashley Conaway were found gagged and bound with duct tape in a shallow grave. Both women had been shot in the head, Blackwell said.


Brown, 18, and Conaway, 21, were abducted Feb. 28 by two armed men outside their home in the nearby enclave of Hamtramck, according to Brown's stepfather, Charles McGinnis. He told police he exchanged gunfire with the captors before they drove away. Relatives said one woman was able to send text messages for a short time from inside the trunk, but that neither had been heard from since.

Police earlier arrested Brandon Cain, 26, and Brian Lee, 24. Both men are scheduled together for a preliminary hearing on Friday on charges of assault with intent to murder.

Family members of the slain women spoke with local media on Monday.

“We should not lose our children, our daughters to such a travesty; we shouldn’t lose our children to evil and rotten men," Latrina Conaway, sister of Ashley Conaway, told the Detroit Free Press. "We’re just going to stand strong. We’re going to walk the judicial system down to the wire. We know justice shall prevail. But for me, this is just the beginning.”

Lois Brown, mother of Abreeya Brown, said she was heartbroken.

"She's in the kingdom of heaven," Brown told the Detroit News. "I am very glad we have the suspects in custody; now we don't have to chase them down. Now I am in mourning."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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