Vannessa Marcotte, a Google employee, was killed last Sunday after going out for a jog near her family’s home in Princeton, Massachusetts.

27-year-old Marcotte was visiting her mother. She was reported missing at 3 p.m. as she did not return home from her jog after two hours. Marcotte was found dead at 8 p.m. near Brooks Station Road. The small town of Princeton is home to at least 3,500 residents, as it lies just 40 miles west of Boston.

Vanessa Marcotte, 27, was last seen Sunday while visiting her family in Princeton, Mass. Image Credit: NY Daily News

A young and promising woman’s murder

During a press conference, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr referred to the acts as a terrible series of events, while also alerting locals to remain vigilant and to be concerned.

“A preliminary review of the body has led detectives to believe this is a homicide investigation. We do not know if this is a random act,” stated Early Jr to Boston’s WCVB.

At first, police did not want to reveal details about the state of Marcotte’s body, which was found by a K-9 unit. But it was then reported to Fox25 that, besides being naked, Marcotte’s hands, feet, and head displayed burn injuries, which indicates the possibility of Marcotte being sexually assaulted. Although authorities have not expressed certainty regarding whether she was assaulted or not, police advised local residents to be wary and to not wander alone in the woods.

Vannessa Marcotte was born in Leominster, Massachusetts. She graduated with honors in 2011 from Boston University’s College of Communication. After school, she went to work at WordsStream, an online marketing startup located in Boston.

Although the cause of death has not been revealed, it has been labeled as a homicide. Image Credit: NY Daily News

She was remembered by WordsStream founder Larry Kim as Marcotte joined the team when there were less than 15 employees, working mainly in the area of customer service for two years. Kim remembered Marcotte as delightful, bright, caring and ambitious. Marcotte also worked for Vistaprint, and she labelled herself as a “Public Relations major with an extreme interest in all things Internet-savvy” in one of her blog posts while she was still attending college.

She started working for Google’s health care affairs in early 2015. The company issued a statement regarding her loss, remembering her as always smiling and passionate about sports and volunteering. She worked at the Alphabet-owned company for over a year and a half.

A Google spokesman expressed his condolences and that the company was “deeply shocked and saddened,” as their thoughts remained with her friends and family as they go through this tragic event.

Marcotte was also an avid runner, as she attended the Falmouth Road Race to raise funds for children health care and cancer research.

“We are concerned about the safety of our town residents and visitors that enter our town. Pay attention to surroundings. If you see anything suspicious or out of place, contact police,” stated Princeton Police Chief Michelle Powers.

Any witness or person that may have information regarding the crime is expected to contact Massachusetts State Police at 508-453-7589.

Source: WCVB