NYC woman visiting mom in Massachusetts found slain in woods


PRINCETON, Mass. (AP) — A New York City woman who disappeared on a walk while visiting her mother in Massachusetts was found slain in the woods, investigators said Monday.

Vanessa Marcotte, 27, was reported missing after failing to return from a Sunday afternoon walk in Princeton, Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said.

Her body was found Sunday night by a state police canine unit about a half-mile from her mother’s home. Authorities say her death appears to be a homicide. An autopsy was scheduled.

Early said authorities didn’t know if the attack was a random act.

“We have a horrible set of facts; a horrible set of circumstances right now,” Early said. “People should be concerned. We are asking them to use an abundance of caution.”

Police Chief Michele Powers urged town residents to remain vigilant. Officials asked anyone with any information to contact authorities.

No other details were immediately released.

Marcotte, a graduate of Boston University, worked for Google, and the company released a statement Monday expressing shock.

“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,” the company said. “We are deeply shocked and saddened, and our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

The rural town of Princeton has about 3,500 residents and is 40 miles west of Boston. Early says Marcotte grew up in nearby Leominster.

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