Angelo Colon-Ortiz has been accused of assault and attempted rape of Vanessa Marcotte, a 27-year-old graduate Boston University working for Google who was found dead on August 7, 2016.
Colon-Ortiz has been arrested in connection with her death after voluntarily providing a DNA sample to a New York State Trooper, and is being held on a $10 million bail.
The trooper had spotted a dark SUV matching a description given by witnesses who reported the vehicle in the area where Marcotte’s body was found.
The trooper thought the driver also matched the profile released about the suspect. They were looking for a male, approximately 30 years old, Hispanic or Latino with light- to medium-toned skin, an athletic build and either short or balding hair.
According to Police, Marcotte fought her attacker. Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr said DNA they had obtained from Marcotte’s hands during her autopsy. “It’s through her determined fight and her efforts that we obtained the DNA of her killer,” Early said. the DNA helped to create the suspect profile the trooper who located Colon-Ortiz used.
After spotting the man and the vehicle, the trooper had to write the license plate number down on his hand for lack of paper. He then visited the home of Colon-Ortiz in Worcester. He did not encounter the suspect the first time, but on his second visit, the trooper collected a voluntary DNA sample from Colon-Ortiz.
They compared the sample from the victims body to that of the 31-year-old Colon-Ortiz, and on Friday it was determined to be a match. Colon-Ortiz was arrested. They also noted he had scratches on his face, neck and arms
Colon-Ortiz moved to the US from Puerto Rico “about a year ago.” He is married and is reported to be a FedEx employee.
Police believe Colon-Ortiz was working in the area at the time of Marcotte’s attack. Her body was found around 8:30 p.m. by State and Princeton police searching with the help of dogs after she failed to return from a job. She was approximately 40 miles west of Boston in the woods near her mother’s Massachusetts home. “The victim suffered a fractured nose during the attack and crushing injuries to the structures surrounding her throat,’’ according to a report filed in court.
Colon-Ortiz was charged with aggravated assault, aggravated assault and battery and assault with intent to rape, however prosecutors asked for a $10 million cash bail because they plan to charge him with Marcotte’s murder as well.
At his arraignment on Tuesday, Attorney Edward Ryan Jr, representing Colon-Ortiz entered not guilty pleas to all charges in Leominster District Court. The attorney didn’t ask for reduced bail, but reserved the right to seek it. Colon-Ortiz required a Spanish-English interpreter to follow the legal proceedings.
Ryan reportedly objected to the way the DNA sample was acquired from Colon-Ortiz, alleging that since his client doesn’t speak English well, he “may not have understood” what was being asked of him.
In a written statement released by Marcotte’s parents Saturday night, they said:
“After eight long months, we’re able to take the first step toward justice for Vanessa. She was a beautiful, intelligent, and generous young woman whose passion for giving back to the community will always be remembered. As we move forward, her spirit will live on through The Vanessa T Marcotte Foundation that strives to empower women to live boldly and fearlessly.”
Angelo Colon-Ortiz’s arraignment:
H/T: NBC New York
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