Anger and sadness have given way to fear in the murders of the two female joggers, Karina Vetrano and Vanessa Marcotte, as residents of Princeton, Massachusetts. and Queens, New York, who previously felt safe to go running alone, are now panicked at the idea that someone is lurking around. Now, authorities are trying to discern whether the two gruesome jogger murders are related or are simply a horrible coincidence. Marcotte, 27, and Vetrano, 30, were both out jogging, as they had done many times before, but this time, both women turned up dead.
Vanessa Marcotte, the latest victim, was visiting her mother in the small town of Princeton, Massachusetts, when she disappeared. Marcotte, a Google employee in NYC, left her mother’s home at 1 p.m. and was reported missing when it began getting dark. Her family then called the police. Sadly, Marcotte was found by a police K9 team nude, raped, murdered, and set on fire in a wooded area less than a half-mile from the Marcotte hoe.
The deaths of Marcotte and Vetrano occurred seemingly back to back and included similar details and the women had similar appearances. Authorities are unnerved by the murders but say they don’t believe that they are related. Even so, women across the country are now reluctant to go jogging alone, even in the middle of the day.
Like Marcotte, Karina Vetrano was assaulted, raped, and strangled before being left dead in a nature preserve in Queens. On the East Coast especially, female runners are voicing their concern. Kathy Ioannou, of the Brooklyn Chapter of She Runs This Town, a running group for women, says the murders of Marcotte and Vetrano have many people shaken up.
“It absolutely has created fear. We don’t feel comfortable running alone. We’re frightened.”
Since the deaths of Marcotte and Vetrano, Ioannou says there has been a great increase of women contacting her to organize additional group runs. Tips for women running alone include going without headphones so you can be aware of your surroundings, carrying mace or pepper spray, and, if possible, running with a dog.
A team of state police detectives is investigating tips that are pouring in following the murder of Vanessa Marcotte in Massachusetts. On Instagram, Marcotte can be seen smiling and sharing photos of her travels in better times, but now the popular Google employee is undergoing an autopsy in Princeton. Marcotte’s body was found 100 yards off of Brooks Station Road, about a half-mile from her mother’s home.
Investigators are still pouring over the Marcotte crime scene in Princeton while detectives wade through the over 100 tips phoned into the state police emergency number. Complicating matters is the terrain where Marcotte’s body was found, as there are many bushes, branches, and brush.
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Vanessa Marcotte’s father, John Marcotte, is understandably devastated by the horrible murder of his daughter on Sunday. Vanessa Marcotte was an only child, which makes the loss even more painful. John Marcotte, 64, says the set of circumstances surrounding the loss of Vanessa are “horrible.”
“How can anything ever be alright again when your only child has been horribly murdered?” he asked.
John Marcotte fought back tears while he tried to continue speaking of his daughter.
“I ask people to pray that whoever did this is caught. She was the best kid in the world. She was 100 per cent into her job. She graduated top of her class. She knew how smart she was.”
Friends, colleagues, and family of both Marcotte and Vetrano have spoken out about what wonderful women the world lost to brutality. Police continue to urge anyone and everyone in both locales to call the police if they see anything unusual.
Do you think there is a chance that the murders of Vanessa Marcotte and Karina Vetrano are related?
[Photo by Stringer/Getty Images]