Man accused of killing runner in Massachusetts due in court

Vanessa Marcotte

Angelo Colon-Ortiz, 31, of Worcester, pleaded not guilty in Leominster District Court to charges of aggravated assault and battery and assault with attempt to rape in connection with the death of Vanessa Marcotte on August 7, 2016.

He was not charged with murder, but prosecutor Jeffrey Travers said at the arraignment that a murder charge will be presented for indictment.

Marcotte's uncle, Steven Therrien, would only say "Justice for Vanessa" as he left the Leominster courthouse, head bowed, under a state police escort to his auto. Early added that additional charges will be added. When she failed to return home, Marcotte's mother called police.

Her body was found in a remote, wooded area about a half mile away later that evening.

Her body was reportedly naked, her head, hands and feet were were burned.

Police said throughout the investigation they believed Marcotte fought her attacker and the suspect had scratches on his face, neck and arms. DNA retrieved from under her nails by the Medical Examiner was sent to a specialized laboratory in Virginia and a DNA profile was established.

Early at a weekend press conference credited Marcotte for helping authorities to solve her murder.

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Police nabbed Colon-Ortiz after a MA state trooper spotted the man driving in a dark-colored SUV and noticed a resemblance to a description issued two months earlier of Marcotte's killer.

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In court, Colon-Ortiz was provided with a translator because he does not speak English, his attorney said. The trooper showed up at the suspect's home where he voluntarily gave a DNA sample.

Prosecutors say they have cell phone evidence showing Colon-Ortiz was in the area where the woman's body was found, reports CBS Boston.

Investigators had received more than 1,300 tips in the case, the district attorney's office said. The family has started the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation, which aims to bring about a world where "women are safe and free to live boldy", according to the website. "She loved to run and she loved to practice yoga". There is also one other person I'd like to thank in this case, and that would be Vanessa Marcotte. Courtesy photo from the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation.

According to an arrest report obtained by CBS Boston reporter Christina Hager, Marcotte's nose was broken, she had "crushing" injuries to her throat and she was partially undressed.

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