They were just the latest victims of foul play whose remains went undiscovered for days after being hidden deep inside Detroit's vast urban wilderness -- a crumbling wasteland rarely visited by outsiders and infrequently patrolled by police.
Abandoned and neglected parts of the city are quickly becoming dumping grounds for the dead -- at least a dozen bodies in 12 months' time. And authorities acknowledge there's little they can do.
"You can shoot a person, dump a body and it may just go unsolved" because of the time it may take for the corpse to be found, officer John Garner said.
The bodies have been purposely hidden or discarded in alleys, fields, vacant houses, abandoned garages and even a canal. Seven of the victims are believed to have been slain outside Detroit and then dumped within the city.
It's a pattern made possible by more than four decades of urban decay and suburban flight. White residents started moving to burgeoning suburbs in the 1950s, then stepped up their exodus after a deadly 1967 race riot. Detroit's black middle class followed over the next two decades, leaving block after block of empty homes.
Over time, tens of thousands of houses deteriorated. Some collapsed, others were demolished. Empty lots gave way to block-long fields.