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Gas found on Vanessa Marcotte's body, suspect bought gas that day, cops say

Vanessa Marcotte, the woman killed while jogging in Princeton in 2016, was found to have traces of gasoline on her, according to court documents.
Vanessa Marcotte. Photo: Mass State Police

Traces of gasoline and bug spray were found on items on Princeton jogger Vanessa Marcotte’s body, according to new court documents.

A hair tie and socks found on Marcotte’s body tested positive for gasoline and DEET, and officials believe that the suspected killer bought gas on the day Marcotte was murdered, according to a search warrant affidavit, via MassLive. The documents were filed in Worcester District Court on Monday.

Marcotte, 27, was a Massachusetts native who worked for Google in New York City. She had been visiting her family in Princeton in August of 2016; her body was found in the woods after she went for a jog.

Angelo Colon-Ortiz, 31, was indicted for the murder of Marcotte in June and is being held on $10 million bail.

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Colon-Ortiz bought $5 of gas on the day Marcotte was killed, court documents detail. The store is about six miles from where Marcotte’s body was found, MassLive reports.

Marcotte was found around 8:30 p.m. August 7, 2016 wearing only a sports bra, the warrant details, according to the Boston Globe. Her running shorts, underwear, baseball cap and one shoe were missing.

"Preliminary observations indicate that there is a secondary crime scene where the assault and or murder most likely occurred," the affidavit reads, according to MassLive.

Marcotte had signs of head trauma and her hands and feet had been burned, "presumably in an attempt to destroy potential DNA evidence," the affidavit said, according to the Associated Press.

It was previously reported that DNA was recovered under Marcotte’s fingernails, a sign that she struggled with her attacker. That DNA helped lead to the arrest of Colon-Ortiz, whose DNA matched those samples.

Investigators were also led to Colon-Ortiz because of a witness who reportedly saw an SUV around the time of the murder near where Marcotte’s body was found. A State Trooper later saw a vehicle that matched that description and took own the license plate number, leading to Colon-Ortiz.

Colon-Ortiz reportedly told investigators that he could not recall his whereabouts on that day, and volunteers a DNA sample. He has pleaded not guilty to Marcotte’s murder. 

 
 
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