Slain runner from NYC laid to rest in Massachusetts

LEOMINSTER, Mass. — A New York City woman killed while out running near her mother's Massachusetts home brought light to the lives of everyone she touched, mourners were told at her funeral Tuesday.

Family, neighbors and a bus full of Google co-workers were among the hundreds of people who paid tribute to Vanessa Marcotte, 27, at Our Lady of the Lake Roman Catholic church in Leominster.

Marcotte's body was found Aug. 7 in the woods near her mother's home in the small town of Princeton.

"You epitomize grace, light, humility, and absolute magic," said eulogist Leah Abrahams, one of Marcotte's best friends.

The Rev. Dennis O'Brien urged mourners to remember Marcotte for the way she lived, not the way she died.

"Her death should not be the headline story," he said. "The headline story that the entire world needs to see and read is the love that she lived every single day of her life."

Marcotte grew up in Leominster, graduated from Boston University and worked as an account manager at Google in New York City.

She went out for a run at about 1 p.m. on Aug. 7 and never came home. Her body was found by police about seven hours later in a wooded area about a half-mile from her mother's home.

Investigators have received more than 600 tips, but no arrests have been announced. They say her male assailant may have suffered cuts, scratches and bruises from a struggle.

She is survived by her parents, John Marcotte and Rossana Marcotte, one grandfather, several aunts and uncles and cousins.

"Vanessa embodied everything that is good in a human being," according to her obituary. "She was kind, compassionate, bright, curious, charming, and vivacious. She was blessed with beauty, grace, a generous spirit, and a loving heart."

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