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Woman Found Slain In Princeton Woods

PRINCETON (CBS/AP) -- Investigators say a New York City woman who disappeared on a jog while visiting her mother in Massachusetts was found slain in the woods.

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

Her body was found Sunday night by a state police canine unit off Brooks Station Road, about a half-mile from her mother's home. Sources say the victim was naked and burned.

Early says, "People should be concerned." Police Chief Michele Powers is urging town residents to remain vigilant.

Vanessa Marcotte
Vanessa Marcotte (WBZ-TV)

Marcotte, originally from Leominster, was living in New York City working as an account manager at Google.

"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," a spokesperson for Google said in a written statement. "We are deeply shocked and saddened, and our thoughts are with her family and friends."

Marcotte graduated from Boston University in 2011.

Steve Quigley, one of Marcotte's professors at BU, said she reached out to him on several occasions after graduation to share job and internship opportunities. "She was kind, very bright and unfailingly gracious," Quigley said. "My heart is broken and my thoughts are with her family."

Investigators are focusing on a timeframe, starting from when Marcotte went out for a jog and walk along the tree-lined street and then never returned. "That time frame is between the hours of 1pm and 4pm yesterday," Early said Monday. "We are seeking the public's assistance."

Police are urging residents to be aware of their surroundings.

"Please use an abundance of caution, we don't know if this is a random act, we're asking you to be very careful," Early said. "Right now we have a very active investigation going on, you can't be too careful."

Anyone with information is urged to call Massachusetts State Police.

Everyone WBZ-TV talked to in the small town of about 4,000 residents is worried.

WBZ-TV's Julie Loncich reports

"I have two young daughters that jog, I'm just worried," one man said.

"I think it's so scary, I think it's awful," said resident Maureen Supernor. "It's enough that it's horrible at nighttime, but in broad daylight with everybody that can see you, you can vanish like that, it's appalling."

Several parents say they would not let their children out of the house alone until the suspect is caught.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe reports

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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