By Laura Ly and Eric Levenson, CNN
A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to life in prison after a plea deal guilty of the murder of Vanessa Marcotte, a 27-year-old Google employee who was killed while out walking in 2016, prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Angelo Colon-Ortiz, 36, from Worcester, He will not be paroled for at least 45 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and unarmed robbery, according to a press release from the Worcester County Attorney’s Office.
Marcotte was an account executive at Google based in New York who had visited her mother’s home in Princeton, Massachusetts. She went outside on the afternoon of August 7, 2016 and was reported missing when she did not return home as expected. Her body was later found in the woods less than a mile from her home.
Previous reports of Marcotte’s death indicated that she was jogging at the time of her attack, but prosecutors say she was walking.
Nonetheless, her death sparked increased awareness of the harassment women runners regularly face, which was highlighted in a Runner’s World story a year later.
Police were able to obtain DNA evidence of the suspect from Marcotte’s hands and a description of the suspect using tips. Eight months after her death, a state police officer stopped a driver – Colon-Ortiz – who matched the suspect’s description and his DNA matched that of the suspect, leading to his arrest.
District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. commended the work of the Massachusetts State Police, Princeton Police Department and Assistant District Attorneys in the investigation and prosecution.
“We know nothing can bring Vanessa back, but we know that justice will be done through the meticulous work of the prosecutors and investigators involved, and the plea will allow Vanessa’s family to come away from this tragedy.”
In a statement, the Marcotte family said they were “grateful and satisfied that the court proceedings achieved what we have always wished that this man will now be in a place where he cannot hurt anyone like he can hurt Vanessa.” hurt.”
The Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation, established in her memory in 2017, has held self-defense workshops for women and educated people about violence prevention, runner safety, setting boundaries and healthy relationships, according to a press release.
“Vanessa would have wanted us to act. She would be proud of what we are doing in her honor to make the world a safer place,” the foundation’s co-founders Caroline Tocci and Ashley McNiff said in a statement.
Marcotte, who graduated with honors from Boston University in 2011, has worked at Google since January 2015, according to her LinkedIn profile.
“Vanessa Marcotte was a very popular member of the Google team, having worked in our New York office for the past year and a half, and was known for her ever-present smile, passion for volunteering and love for Boston sports,” said a Google spokesperson her death. “We are deeply shocked and saddened and our thoughts are with her family and friends.”
The CNN Wire
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