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Heartbroken father says slain daughter had bright future

Vanessa Marcotte, a 27-year-old BU graduate, was found dead in Princeton, Mass.
Vanessa Marcotte, a 27-year-old BU graduate, was found dead in Princeton, Mass.

LEOMINSTER — The heartbroken father of Vanessa Marcotte, whose body was found in the woods off a rural road in Princeton Sunday, remembered his only child as a smart, hard-working young professional.

“She was a great kid,” John Marcotte said, pausing to take a deep breath, outside his home here Tuesday afternoon.

“I could only ask for your prayers, that they find [who] did this. That’s all we want. That’s all we want: justice.”

Marcotte said he last saw his daughter Saturday night, when the two had dinner together at the 111 Chop House in Worcester.

“I went to eat with her at the Chop House Saturday night. After that, the next day, she was dead,” Marcotte said as he teared up.

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Vanessa Marcotte, 27, had been visiting her mother in Princeton for a few days when she went jogging Sunday on Brooks Station Road around 1 p.m. When she failed to return home, authorities launched a missing person’s search around 4 p.m.

Her body was found at 8:20 p.m. Sunday in the woods off the road about a half-mile from her mother’s home. Officials are trying to determine if she was sexually assaulted. There were indications her body had been burned, a law enforcement official briefed on the case said.

John Marcotte spoke just after noon Tuesday, having returned to his ranch-style home after spending eight hours with police.

“I haven’t even showered yet. I’ve been at the police station since 4 a.m.,” he said.

He said his daughter was highly dedicated to her job as an accounts manager for Google in New York, where she was excited to work for a new manager.

“She was 100 percent on to her job,” he said. “Her whole thing was to just get up the [career] ladder. She knew how smart she was.”

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She was not involved with anyone romantically, he said.

“There is nobody,” he said. “If you could understand what the State Police have told us — there is not one negative note with any of this.”

He praised the work of police investigators and the Worcester district attorney’s office.

“They just seem to work above and beyond what they have to do to find this person,” Marcotte said, adding that they’ve “offered us all kinds of assistance.”

He said he is also comforted by an “outpouring [of support] from Google, from everywhere.”

“I want my daughter remembered as a great kid,” he said. “She’s the best kid in the world.”


Kathy McCabe can be reached at Katherine.McCabe@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMcCabe.