A 27-year-old jogger from New York City was found dead in Princeton, Mass., on Sunday, her naked body partially burned, police say. Vanessa Marcotte—an account manager for Google—had set out from her mother's house, which she was visiting for the weekend, around 1pm, authorities say. Her family reported her missing hours later and her body was found a half-mile away in a wooded area around 8pm. The case follows last week's murder of jogger Karina Vetrano in Queens. Police tell Fox 25 they are investigating whether Marcotte was sexually assaulted, then set on fire as her hands, feet, and head appear to have been burned. "We do not know if this is a random act," a Worcester County DA tells WCVB, calling the circumstances of her death "horrific," per Mass Live.
Police, seen scouring the wooded area near a two-lane road on Monday afternoon, are asking the public's help in finding out what happened after Marcotte departed, reports Fox 59. However, a neighbor tells the Boston Globe that the wooded lots nearby provide good cover for someone to "grab her and bring her right into the woods." A former boss describes Marcotte, a Boston University graduate, as "bright," "ambitious," "caring," and "just a delightful person." She was "known for her ubiquitous smile, passion for volunteer work, and love of Boston sports," a Google rep adds. "We are deeply shocked and saddened." Massachusetts police say there's no sign Vetrano and Marcotte's murders are linked. (Vetrano's mother had strong words for her daughter's killer.)