Police are investigating the possible homicide of a 27-year-old Google employee from New York City who disappeared Sunday afternoon after she went jogging in Massachusetts.

Vanessa Marcotte was found dead late Sunday night about half a mile from her mother’s house in Princeton, Mass., where she was visiting for the weekend. Marcotte was last seen about 1 p.m. Sunday when she left for a jog in the central Massachusetts town.


Massachusetts State Police K-9 teams discovered Marcotte’s body in a wooded area about 8:20 p.m. Sunday, the Boston Globe reported.

Authorities have opened a homicide investigation and do not know whether the killing was a random act, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said at a news conference Monday.

“We are asking residents of Princeton and the surrounding areas to use an abundance of caution,” Early Jr. said. “We are asking the public to be careful, to be vigilant.”

Numerous local outlets — including the Boston Globe, the Telegram and Gazette and the Boston’s ABC affiliate — cited police sources saying there are indications that Marcotte’s body was burned. Whether she was sexually assaulted remains unclear.

Marcotte’s Instagram feed depicted someone who loved the New England Patriots, Boston and the beach.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Marcotte graduated from Boston University in 2011, stayed in the Boston area for several years and worked at WordStream, an online advertising company, and Vistaprint. In January 2015, she started a new job as a health-care account manager at Google in New York City.

A Google spokesman confirmed Marcotte’s employment in an emailed statement to The Washington Post.

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

This post has been updated.

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