Eight months after 27-year-old Vanessa Marcotte was found dead, murdered after going for a jog in Princeton, Massachusetts, authorities say they have arrested a man suspected of killing the Google employee.
The Washington Post reports that the DNA found on the slain jogger’s hands led to the arrest of 31-year-old Angelo Colon-Ortiz, who was charged with “aggravated assault and battery and assault with attempt to rape.”
Last year, Marcotte returned to her hometown in Princeton to visit family.
On Sunday, August 7, she decided to go for a job around 1 p.m. in the wooded community in Worcester but when the healthcare account manager failed to return after being gone for several hours, her family began to worry and reported her missing.
Authorities have confirmed that an arrest has been made in the murder of Vanessa Marcotte https://t.co/cbrvcQWUa3
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) April 15, 2017
Later that night, State Police K-9 unit found Marcotte’s naked body in the “woods off Brooks Station Road, a half-mile from her mother’s house.”
Investigators believe Marcotte was strangled to death before her hands and feet were set on fire.
Although DNA evidence was recovered from the victim’s hands, there wasn’t a match in law enforcement databases.
When Google learned of Marcotte’s murder, the company released the following statement.
“Vanessa Marcotte was a much-loved member of the Google team, working in our New York office for the last year and a half, and known for her ubiquitous smile. Passion for volunteer work, and love of Boston sports.”
“We are deeply shocked and saddened, and our thoughts are with her family and friends.”
More than 1,300 tips were received, but Marcotte’s murder went unsolved for eight months.
However, last month a state police trooper, Robert Parr, spotted a dark-colored utility vehicle driven by a man matching the description of the jogger’s suspected killer in Worcester, according to the district attorney’s office.
Parr wrote the vehicle’s license plate number on his hand and later tracked down the driver’s address. The following day, the trooper went to the home of Colon-Ortiz–who did not have a criminal record–and after speaking with him, he agreed to provide a sample of his saliva.
When the result came back on Friday, it matched the DNA found on Marcotte’s hands, and the slain jogger’s suspected killer was arrested early Saturday morning.
At a press conference later that day, Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. announced the slain jogger’s suspected killer saying, “We got him… We’re very confident we have Vanessa Marcotte’s killer.”
“There is also one other person I’d like to thank in this case, and that would be Vanessa Marcotte. It was through her determined fight and her efforts that we obtained the DNA of her killer.”
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) April 16, 2017
After learning that the suspected killer of the Princeton slain jogger had been arrested, Marcotte’s family released the following statement.
“After eight long months, we’re able to take the first step toward justice for Vanessa. She was a beautiful, intelligent, and generous young woman whose passion for giving back to the community will always be remembered.”
State Police Col. Richard D. McKeon said, “Over the last eight-plus months, seasons changed, holidays came and passed, and Ms. Marcotte’s family waited and waited and hoped.”
“As the months passed, the DA’s office and Princeton Police and state troopers never stopped working. No one ever stopped thinking about Ms. Marcotte and how we could solve this case. We never lost faith that this day would come.”
— Cold Traces (@cold_traces) April 15, 2017
Larry Kim, the founder of WordStream, stated that he hired Marcotte after she graduated with a communications degree from Boston University in 2011, and he “watched her rise from customer service to management in less than two years.”
He added, “I am just in complete disbelief. She was a wonderful young woman and very ambitious and had a brilliant career cut short.”
Although there are no murder charges filed, the slain jogger’s suspected killer is being held on a $10 million bond. Colon-Ortiz is set to make his first court appearance on Tuesday.
[Featured Image by Worcester County District Attorney’s Office/AP Image]