Fast-acting trooper made the link that cracked a murder case


A quick-thinking state trooper who reported spotting a driver who matched the description of the suspect in Vanessa Marcotte’s slaying is being credited with coming up with the all-important “break in the case” after he scrawled the license plate on his hand and followed up at the man’s home address.  “It goes to the job these people do every day,” Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said of trooper Robert Parr, who was working an unrelated detail in Worcester in mid-March when he noticed a man matching the suspect description driving a dark SUV and quickly wrote the license plate number on his hand.  After a visit to the driver’s address turned up empty, Early said, Parr left his card and asked for a return phone call.  When he didn’t receive a phone call, Early said, Parr stopped by again the following day and obtained an oral swab test from Angelo Colon-Ortiz, whose DNA would later be matched to a sample retrieved from Marcotte’s hands.  And though investigators thanked the public for the more than 1,300 tips provided by the public, Early noted that Parr was the one who delivered the “break in the case.”  State police Col. Richard D. McKeon also praised Parr, saying he “exemplified that trait that all good detectives have: to be always on the case, looking for the one piece of information to break it open, even when in the middle of other duties.”  “His mind, and the minds of his fellow detectives, were always on this case,” McKeon said, “and because of that we are in a position tonight to speak for Ms. Marcotte.”