The man accused of killing a Google employee while she was out jogging near her mother’s home in Massachusetts pleaded guilty to her murder on Wednesday, officials said.
Angelo Colon-Ortiz, 31, was sentenced to life in prison after the family of 27-year-old Vanessa Marcotte urged prosecutors to accept the plea deal and spare them from the gruesome details of her murder, according to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office.
Marcotte, a Google account manager who had been living in New York City, was visiting her mom in Princeton in August of 2016 when she left for a workout around 1 p.m. and never returned.
Her body was found in woods about half a mile from her mother’s house at 8:20 p.m. that night, police said.
Police received more than 1,300 tips during their investigation but made a big break in the case when a Massachusetts state trooper spotted a driver of a dark SUV that matched a description of the suspect and quickly jotted the plate number down on his hand.
Detectives matched DNA obtained by the driver with that found on Marcotte’s hands and arrested Colon-Ortiz in April 2017.
Colon-Ortiz pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and unarmed robbery charges, according to the DA’s office.
“We are thankful and gratified the legal process has accomplished what we always wished for, that this man will now be in a place where he can’t hurt anyone else like the way he hurt Vanessa,” the Marcotte family said in a statement.
“To honor and remember Vanessa, we will continue to educate and protect women through the Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation.”
The foundation was established in 2017 in Marcotte’s memory, according to its website. The non-profit has trained thousands of women at self-defense workshops and offers educational programs on healthy relationships and violence.