By Laila Kearney
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investigators searched on Tuesday for clues in the case of a 27-year-old Google employee who was found slain in woods near her mother’s Massachusetts home hours after leaving for a jog, police said.
The body of Vanessa Marcotte, who worked as a healthcare account manager in Google’s New York City offices, was found by a police K-9 unit late on Sunday near the small town of Princeton, police said.
“We are asking for the public’s help in finding the person or persons who killed Ms. Marcotte,” the Massachusetts State Police Department said in a statement.
Law enforcement officials have released few details about the cause of death or state in which Marcotte was found.
WCVB-TV reported, citing unnamed police sources, that she had been sexually assaulted and was burned on her head, feet and hands.
Police officials said on Monday they did not know whether her killing was a random act.
Marcotte was visiting her mother’s home from her residence in New York, where she had worked for Google for more than a year.
“Vanessa Marcotte was a much loved member of the Google team … and known for her ubiquitous smile, passion for volunteer work, and love of Boston sports,” Google said in a statement. “We are deeply shocked and saddened, and our thoughts are with her family and friends.”
Marcotte’s death came days after a 30-year-old woman, Karina Vetrano, was sexually assaulted and murdered while jogging alone along an overgrown path in New York’s Howard Beach.
Authorities, who have had few leads in the Vetrano case, have said there is no evidence connecting the two cases.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by David Gregorio)