Jogger killed in Princeton remembered as bright young woman who loved sports, volunteering

Vanessa Marcotte.
A handout photo of Vanessa Marcotte, who went jogging in Princeton Sunday and was later found dead. –David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

Vanessa Marcotte, the jogger whose murder has rattled the small, wooded town of Princeton, was known to her colleagues as a bright, passionate young woman who loved Boston sports.

Marcotte was visiting her mother over the weekend on a trip from New York City, where she worked as an account manager at Google. The 27-year-old disappeared between 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday while jogging alone in the town north of Worcester. Authorities found her body later that evening just a half-mile from her mother’s home.

While officials have not yet said how Marcotte died, they do have evidence to believe that her body had been burned, and were investigating whether her attacker had sexually assaulted her, according to The Boston Globe.

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“We do not know if this was a random act,” Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said in a press conference Monday. “We are asking the residents of Princeton and surrounding areas to use an abundance of caution.”

Marcotte attended Bancroft School in Worcester, graduating in 2007 and moving on to Boston University, according to her LinkedIn profile. She worked several marketing jobs in the Boston area after college, starting her stint at Google in early 2015.

“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,” Google said in a statement to the Globe. “We are deeply shocked and saddened, and our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

Marcotte’s Instagram account showed her passion for trips to Cape Cod and running a road race in support of Boston Children’s Hospital.

Princeton’s chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Stan Moss, said he couldn’t remember a single homicide in the town during the three decades he’d lived there, the Globe reported. Authorities are asking residents to be vigilant and to contact police with any information related to the murder at 508-453-7589.

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“We are concerned about the safety of our town residents and the visitors,” Princeton Police Chief Michele Powers said during Monday’s press conference. “Pay attention to your surroundings.”

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