JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville police are investigating after two Tampa women were found dead on the side of the road on the Northside early Thursday morning.
Police identified the victims as Angelia Mangum (pictured below on left), 19, and Tjhisha Ball (pictured below on right), 18.
At 1:53 a.m. officers were dispatched to Sisson Drive, near the intersection of Main Street North and Clark Road, in reference to two bodies that were found.
"Two witnesses were driving by and they saw bodies and they called 911," said Sgt. T.K. Waters.
Waters said while don't yet know the cause of death, homicide detectives suspect foul play.
"They were in an area where they would have been noticed, so I think it was fairly recently since they'd been left there," Waters said. "Right now we're just processing, photographing, looking for any evidence that we can find, and we're going to take it slow and very steady. We made contact with the medical examiner's office, and they'll come out and take the bodies and do autopsies and make determinations from there."
Police have not released any information on possible suspects at this time.
"My heart goes out to them," Alexis Johnson, who lives nearby, said of the victims' families. "I couldn't imagine waking up hearing something like that about a family member. It's just crazy to hear that. I pray for them and I hope they find strength and get through this time."
Johnson said she typically feels safe in the area, but not anymore.
"I walk my dogs at 12, 1 o'clock in the morning," she said. "I don't think anything about it because we all look out for each other. But to find out something like that happened here, yes, that will change."
These were the third and fourth women to have been killed in Jacksonville within the last week and a half. On Sept. 8, 50-year-old Michelle Allen was found shot to death in a pickup truck that crashed into a tree in the New Town area. And on Sunday morning, 25-year-old Jessica Wolford was found shot to death behind a Northside church. Neither of their killers have been caught.
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said women always need to be extra cautious when alone, especially when it's dark. He said criminals don't like distraction, so women should always make noise if they've being victimized.
"Anytime there's noise, loud noise, people don't want that. They try to run and get away," Smith said. "Even if you're near your car, if it's locked and you have an alarm, push that alarm and make that go off."
Smith said never give a stranger a ride, no matter what kind of story they give. Smith said it's also never a smart idea to take a ride from a stranger.
"Try to call someone, but if someone offers to take you, don't do it," Smith said. "Chances are nothing will happen, but you never know. It could be that one occasion someone is looking for an opportunity to do something."
Anyone with any information about the killings is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.
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