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Karina Vetrano and Vanessa Marcotte (YouTube).

On alert

Murders of 2 women jogging alone compound female runners’ fears

By WITW Staff on August 10, 2016

The unresolved murders of two women who went running in New York City and in rural Massachusetts within the last week have reinforced the fears of female athletes who say they feel uncomfortable working out alone, at night, or in secluded areas.

In Princeton, Massachusetts, Vanessa Marcotte, a 27-year-old New Yorker who worked for Google vanished on Sunday afternoon while on a run near her mother’s home. Her body was found that evening in the woods nearby. Police have not yet said whether she was sexually assaulted. On August 2, Karina Vetrano, a 30-year-old Queens resident, disappeared while on a 5 p.m. run in the secluded coastal marshland near her home. Her body was found late that evening, her clothes in disarray. An autopsy determined that Vetrano had been strangled to death.

Such attacks are exceedingly rare according to crime statistics, but many female runners say that fears about these types of crimes, as well as incidents of harassment or assault, mean they can never really let down their guard. “I’m always looking to see who’s around me, even in broad daylight,” said Olivia Clark, 27, while on a run in New York City’s Central Park on Tuesday. To keep herself safe, Clark said, she runs alongside other people in order to avoid becoming isolated. Another runner in the park, 21-year-old Devon Tucker, said she brings pepper spray with her every time she runs, just in case.

Alexandra Goumas, a 27-year-old Manhattan lawyer, said she avoids the park’s more isolated routes and does not run in the evening, but that she tries not to let concerns about assault prevent her from enjoying her workout. “It’s the New Yorker attitude,” she explained. “You can’t let these things get in your way.”

Watch Inside Edition’s coverage of the incidents below.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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