MANSFIELD TWP., N.J. (WPVI) -- A frightening discovery along a remote Mansfield Township road has now turned into a murder investigation.
Police found 68-year-old James Dewyer dead inside his car, which was parked in a shallow ditch along Monica Court.
The vehicle was discovered by a local family, who recognized that it didn't belong there and suspected something was wrong.
"We knocked on the door and no one was responding, so we called police," explains April Michael.
April, along with her husband and two daughters, passed by a dead end called Monica Court just behind their house in Mansfield Sunday afternoon about 4:00 when they spotted the car.
April says, "He (her husband) mentioned it was off into the ditch. I said we have to turn around and see what's going on. So we did and he went up to the car and saw a man like stooped over."
That man has been identified as James Dewyer, who was found shot to death in the passenger side of his silver Dodge Avenger.
Mansfield police and the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office are investigating the homicide, trying to find out who shot Dewyer and why. Sunday night they visited with several neighbors along rural Kinkora Road including longtime resident Barbara Sadler.
Sadler tells us, "It scared me to death. A Mansfield cop came up last night and a detective and they said did you hear anything or see anything today? And I said no."
One resident didn't want to appear on camera, but was also visited by police.
She explains, "I heard gunshots but it sounds like normal gunshots. You know we have a lot of hunters around here. But nothing out of the ordinary. I didn't see or hear anything."
According to authorities, the victims last known legal address was Linden Road in Burlington Township, but that was a few years ago. Since then it's believed he moved around a lot, sometimes staying at area motels.
The discovery of James Dewyer's body in a ditch off a rural road has unnerved people who live and work in the area.
Anthony Restuccio of Flornece says, "Usually quiet. This area's quiet, you know? Not too much going on, so when I see something like that I'm like, what's happening?"
The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office tells Action News that the autopsy on the victim is scheduled to be performed Tuesday.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about this case to contact them immediately.