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Serial Killer Richard Cottingham Confesses To 1974 Cold-Case Murders Of New Jersey Teens Mary Ann Pryor, Lorraine Marie Kelly

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A 47-year-old New Jersey murder mystery has been solved after a serial killer admitted to kidnapping and killing two teenagers.

Seventeen-year-old Mary Ann Pryor and 16-year-old Lorraine Marie Kelly disappeared during a planned trip to a Paramus mall in 1974.

Witnesses at the time told police the girls were hitchhiking and had gotten into a man's car.

During a court appearance Tuesday, 74-year-old Richard Cottingham, also known as the "Torso Killer," pleaded guilty and admitted he kidnapped and raped the girls, then drowned them in a motel room bathtub.

Their bodies were later found in a wooded area in North Jersey.

Cottingham was already in prison on a life sentence and has been linked to 11 other murders in New Jersey and New York.

As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors said Cottingham is expected to get two life sentences in July, to be served concurrently with the time he's already serving.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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