Search For Killer Underway After Google Employee Found Dead In Woods

Vanessa Marcotte's death came just days after another New York City jogger was found dead. Police say the cases are not related.

A Google account manager who went missing during a jog near her mother’s Massachusetts home Sunday is believed to have been murdered.

A search is now underway for a killer after 27-year-old Vanessa Marcotte, who was visiting from New York City, was found dead in woods about a half-mile from her mother’s Princeton home, prosecutors said Monday.

“We are asking the public to be careful and vigilant,” said Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. at a press conference Monday.

Vanessa Marcotte's photo is seen being held up during a press conference Monday in Princeton, Massachusetts.
Vanessa Marcotte's photo is seen being held up during a press conference Monday in Princeton, Massachusetts.

Marcotte was last seen around 1 p.m. Sunday when she set out for a jog in the affluent Massachusetts community that’s located about 50 miles west of Boston. A K-9 team recovered her body later that evening, prosecutors said.

A source close to the investigation told WCVB-TV that she was found without clothes on and with burns to her head, feet and hands.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. Authorities say it’s not yet clear whether her death was the result of a targeted or random attack.

Marcotte’s death came less than a week after the body of another female jogger, 30-year-old Karina Vetrano, who had been sexually assaulted, was found along New York City’s Howard Beach. As of Tuesday, no arrests have been made in that case. 

Early said Monday that there is “nothing at this point” to connect Marcotte’s death to Vetrano’s, the Boston Globe reported.

Marcotte was working as an account manager for Google, according to her LinkedIn profile. In a statement, a spokesperson for the tech company expressed shock and sadness over her tragic death.

“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,” the statement obtained by the Associated Press read. “We are deeply shocked and saddened, and our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

Authorities are urging the public to report anything suspicious to the Massachusetts State Police Tipline at 508-453-7589; State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office 508-832-9124 or the Princeton Police at 978-464-2928.