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Vanessa Marcotte case: DNA leads to development in slaying of Mass. jogger

Slain Mass. jogger case
Slain Mass. jogger case 02:20

PRINCETON, Mass. -- Authorities say they now have a DNA profile of a person of interest in the slaying a New York City woman out running near her mother’s Massachusetts home last summer.

Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said Thursday that the person of interest in the killing of Vanessa Marcotte is a Hispanic or Latino man, about 30 years old, with light to medium-toned skin, and an athletic build. He said the description was based on a combination of the DNA profile and witness statements.

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Vanessa Marcotte CBS Boston

“I think it’s very significant,” Early said of the new description.

Early said the person of interest would have had scratches on his face, neck, hands and arms after the Aug. 7 attack in Princeton. He said Marcotte struggled with her killer, but wouldn’t go into detail.

Early wouldn’t say where authorities uncovered the DNA. When asked by a reporter whether the DNA was recovered from Marcotte’s fingernails, Early said, “I can’t speak to that, but he did have a lot of scratches.”

Authorities said the suspect was driving a dark-colored SUV in the area around the same time Marcotte was abducted and killed.

The DNA has been passed through national criminal databases without a hit and Early did not have a name. The profile was developed with the help of a private lab.

“We want to do everything we can to find this killer,” Early said.

Early said some people have been ruled out in the case, and said the DNA did not match a suspect in the slaying of another jogger – Karina Vetrano – who was killed the same month in New York City. Authorities have received over 1300 tips in the Marcotte case, Early said. 

Marcotte grew up in nearby Leominster and worked as an account manager for Google in New York.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Massachusetts State Police tip line at (508) 453-7589. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

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