Slain Massachusetts jogger's hands held DNA that led to suspect's arrest

The suspect was taken into custody late Friday.

ByABC News
April 15, 2017, 3:14 PM

— -- Police have made an arrest in connection with the killing last summer of a 27-year-old Google employee as she was out jogging in broad daylight in Massachusetts.

Vanessa Marcotte went for a jog on Aug. 7 near her mother's home in the town of Princeton, about 60 miles west of Boston.

She never returned, and her body was found that night in a wooded area about a half mile from her mother’s house.

Authorities announced at a press conference Saturday afternoon that they had arrested 31-year-old Angel Colon-Ortiz in connection with the crime.

"We got him," Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said, followed by applause. "This has been a roller-coaster all along."

A DNA sample from Ortiz matched that found on Marcotte's hands, Early said.

Investigators said previously that Marcotte may have struggled with her attacker, and that whoever killed her received scratches, scrapes and bruises during the struggle.

After information was put out to the public recently about a possible suspect, a state trooper noticed a driver of a dark SUV in Worcester, Massachusetts, who matched the description of the suspect, Early said at the press conference Saturday.

The trooper wrote the license plate number on his hand, which led to Ortiz's arrest late Friday.

Early said initial evidence suggest Ortiz is from Worcester.

Ortiz is being held at Massachusetts State Police barracks in Millbury and is expected to be arraigned in district court on Tuesday. He is facing charges of aggravated assault, aggravated assault and battery as well as assault with intent to rape, Early said, noting that a murder charge is also expected to be added.

Police have said Marcotte was likely attacked between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. local time on Aug. 7.

Police sources have told ABC News there were signs Marcotte was sexually assaulted and that there were burns on parts of her body.

Early has said Marcotte, an account manager at Google in New York, frequently visited Massachusetts and was planning to return to New York City on the day of her death.

A Google representative described Marcotte in a statement as "a much loved member of the Google team" who was "known for her ubiquitous smile, passion for volunteer work and love of Boston sports. We are deeply shocked and saddened, and our thoughts are with her family and friends."

Her alma mater, Boston University, has paid tribute to her as well. "We're so terribly sad for her family and friends," Colin Riley, the executive director of media relations at Boston University, told ABC News in August. "They're in our thoughts and prayers."

Marcotte was murdered just five days after another female jogger was killed in the New York City borough of Queens. Police said Karina Vetrano, 30, was strangled to death on Aug. 2, while out for a jog along a path she often ran with her father.

Authorities in New York and Massachusetts do not believe the murders of two young women are related, but police in both states have been working together to solve the mysteries surrounding their deaths.

Early has said, "we haven't ruled anything out," in regard to the similarities in the two cases.

ABC News' Benjamin Stein and Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.