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Family of NYC woman slain in Mass. asks for charitable donations in lieu of memorial flowers

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MASSACHUSETTS — Ahead of memorials this week honoring a New York City woman killed in Massachusetts during a daytime jog, the victim’s family has asked that charitable donations be made in lieu of flowers.

Vanessa Marcotte, 27, was killed while going for a jog near her mom's Massachusetts home on Aug. 7, 2016. (Gofundme)

Vanessa Marcotte, 27, was killed while going for a jog near her mom's Massachusetts home on Aug. 7, 2016. (Gofundme)

Vanessa Marcotte, 27, was visiting family in Massachusetts when she was found dead the evening of Sunday, Aug. 7 after she left for a run earlier that day near her mother’s home in Princeton — a rural town west of Boston.

She fought for her life, and investigators continue to search for her killer, who is believed to have sustained scratches, scrapes or bruising during the attack.

Marcotte will be honored during calling hours from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday and at a funeral Tuesday, according to an online obituary.

The Google account manager and avid volunteer is being remembered as someone who “embodied everything that is good in a human being,” the online obituary states.

In addition to having a passion for the outdoors, hiking, and yoga, Marcotte referred to the beaches in Brewser, Massachusetts as her “happy place.”

She also spent her free time tutoring, mentoring and teaching youth in the two states she frequented, offering her help locally at Harlem Grown and once being named “tutor of the year” at Tutoring Plus of Cambridge, according to the obit and a gofundme page created in her honor.

In keeping with Marcotte’s motto of giving back, her family asks that instead of donating flowers to her memorial services, money be given to Harlem Grown, Tutoring Plus of Cambridge or Matt Light Foundation for Crohn’s Disease.

In addition, a gofundme page was created over the weekend asking for donations to her “favorite causes.”

“Vanessa was incredibly smart, kind, ambitious, and optimistic,” the gofundme page states. “She was truly a beautiful person, inside and out. Above all, Vanessa loved giving back to the community.”

Yet another example of Marcotte’s strength was how she handled being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, not only embracing the change in her life but again turning to volunteer work.

“Although this was a difficult time, she exhibited an inspiring amount of courage and strength,” according to the page. “One of her life ambitions was to support and contribute toward finding a cure for Crohn’s.”

The page has raised about $5,800 of its $20,000 goal as of Monday morning.

Marcotte also loved to run, and on Sunday family, friends and community members gathered for a 3-mile run in Princeton, the Associate Press reports.