A Google employee from New York City who disappeared on an afternoon jog while visiting her mother in Massachusetts has been found murdered in the woods.
Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said Monday that 27-year-old Vanessa Marcotte was reported missing after failing to return from a run between 1pm and 4pm in Princeton.
Her body was discovered at around 8.20pm Sunday by a state police K9 unit near Brooks Station Road, about a half-mile from her mother's home.
A source told Fox25 in Boston that investigators were examining the possibility that Marcotte was sexually assaulted and set on fire, with burns to her hands, head and feet.
Authorities would not specify how she died but say her death appears to be a homicide. An autopsy is scheduled.
'We have a horrible set of facts, horrible circumstance,' Early told reporters during a news conference.
He added that it was unclear whether Marcotte's killing was a random act of violence and urged local residents to remain vigilant and exercise caution.
'People should be concerned,' Early told the press.
Marcotte's employer, Google, released the following statement about her 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. We are deeply shocked and saddened, and our thoughts are with her family and friends'.
Early said there was 'nothing at this point' connecting Marcotte's death to the unsolved slaying last week of Karina Vetrano, a female jogger in Queens.
The rural town of Princeton has about 3,500 residents and is 40 miles west of Boston. Early says Marcotte grew up in nearby Leominster.
According to Marcotte's LinkedIn account, the Boston University graduate had worked as an account manager at Google in New York City for nearly two years.
Prior to that, the 27-year-old had a marketing job at Vistaprint.
In a blog Marcotte wrote while still at Boston University, she said: 'I am a Public Relations major with an extreme interest in all things Internet-savvy.
'To get a little technical, I am passionate about business strategies like SEO, Analytics and Inbound Marketing (just to name a few) and hope to develop these skills further and make them a focus in my future career'.