Massachusetts police have arrested a man in connection with the August killing of woman who had been out jogging in the woods, a case that closely resembled a second daylight murder in New York City less than a week earlier.
With the arrest of 31-year-old Angelo Colon-Ortiz in the Massachusetts case on Friday, authorities now have identified suspects in both cases, which are not believed to be related.
Vanessa Marcotte, a 27-year-old account manager for Google in New York City, was found naked with her body partially burned on Aug. 7 in the Massachusetts town of Princeton, where she was visiting family.
Her murder followed the Aug. 2 killing of 30-year-old Karina Vetrano, who was strangled in the New York City borough of Queens while out on an isolated jogging path.
“We got him,” Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. told a news conference Saturday announcing the arrest.
The suspect’s DNA matched that of samples taken from Marcotte’s hands.
Similarly, DNA recovered from beneath the fingernails of the victim in the New York case matched that of a suspect who was taken into custody in February.
The Massachusetts suspect was charged with aggravated assault and battery and assault with attempt to rape, and more charges could be forthcoming, prosecutors said in a statement.
Colon-Ortiz was being held on $10 million bail and was due to appear in Leominster district court on Tuesday.
A breakthrough in the case came when a Massachusetts state trooper spotted a man driving a vehicle who matched a description of the suspect in Marcotte’s killing, prosecutors said.
The trooper wrote the license plate number on his hand and later visited the home of the suspect, who provided a DNA sample, prosecutors said.
“The arrest was the result of hard work by police who tirelessly investigated this case from the day of Ms. Marcotte’s death,” Early said.