Vanessa Marcotte fought back, investigators believe.
The Google employee and Boston University graduate who was killed while jogging Sunday likely left her attacker with scratches, scrapes and bruises, Worcester, Mass., District Attorney Joseph D. Early told reporters Thursday, according to the Boston Globe.
Police search dogs found Marcotte’s body late Sunday in a wooded area about half a mile from her mother’s house in Princeton, Mass., where she was visiting for the weekend, The Washington Post reported. She had been last seen about 1 p.m. Sunday in the central Massachusetts town when she left for a jog.
Authorities have opened a homicide investigation and do not know whether the killing was a random act, Early said. It was the town’s first homicide case in three decades. No one has been charged in the killing, which made national headlines and sparked concerns among joggers.
Marcotte had worked in Boston after graduating from Boston University in 2011, according to her LinkedIn profile, and stayed in the area for several years to work at WordStream, an online advertising company, and Vistaprint. In January 2015, Marcotte started a new job as a health-care account manager at Google in New York City.
In the days after Marcotte’s body was found, investigators told the Associated Press they had received hundreds of tips about what happened to Marcotte but don’t have any suspects.
The killing happened days after the slaying of New York City jogger Karina Vetrano under similar circumstances.
Vetrano, 30, disappeared while running through a secluded marshland close to her home in Queens, according to the AP. Searchers found her body a few hours later. She had been strangled, and her clothes were in disarray, indicating that she had been sexually assaulted.
No one has been arrested in that case. Vetrano’s family, who started a GoFundMe campaign, have offered an award for information. By Friday, that campaign had topped $200,000, a family spokeswoman told The Washington Post.
The killings roused fear among female runners.
“Every time I go out, my guard is up,” Becca Pizzi, a 36-year-old who has run 52 marathons, told the AP about her fears of running alone.
“From North Carolina to Boston and elsewhere, I’ve been harassed, whistled at, barked at,” she said, adding that she now prefers to run with her fiance or a group, or else goes to the gym. “Who wants to live like that? Unfortunately we have to.”