Craigslist killing suspect dead in Mass. suicide

By The Associated Press

BOSTON — A district attorney says a former medical student accused of killing a masseuse he met through Craigslist has committed suicide in a Boston jail.
The Suffolk County district attorney says in an e-mail all evidence indicates 24-year-old Philip Markoff killed himself. Markoff was found unresponsive in his cell at the Nashua Street Jail on Sunday morning. He was declared dead at about 10:15 a.m.
Authorities say an investigation will be conducted to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding his death.
Markoff had pleaded not guilty in the fatal shooting of New York City resident Julissa Brisman and the armed robbery of a Las Vegas woman. Rhode Island prosecutors had accused him of attacking a stripper.
His trial in the Massachusetts cases was expected in March.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
BOSTON (AP) — A former medical student accused of killing a masseuse he met through Craigslist apparently killed himself inside a Boston jail, where he was awaiting trial, authorities said Sunday.
Philip Markoff’s body was found Sunday morning in the Nashua Street Jail after an apparent suicide, said Ed Geary, a spokesman for the Suffolk County sheriff’s office. Geary said no additional information was immediately available, and an investigation had begun.
Saturday would have been Markoff’s first wedding anniversary, but his nuptials were canceled after his arrest.
Markoff, 24, a former Boston University student, pleaded not guilty in fatal shooting of Julissa Brisman, of New York City, and the armed robbery of a Las Vegas woman. Both crimes happened at Boston hotels within the span of four days in April 2009. Rhode Island prosecutors also accused him of attacking a stripper during the same week.
His trial in the Massachusetts cases was expected in March.
Markoff’s lawyer, John Salsberg, said he was shocked and saddened about his client’s death. He would not comment further.
Markoff had met the women through advertisements for erotic services posted on Craigslist, a classified advertising Web site, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said the Boston Police Department crime lab identified two blood stains taken from swabs on a handgun that was seized during a search of Markoff’s apartment in Quincy, Mass. Prosecutors alleged that Markoff used the weapon to bludgeon Brisman before the victim was shot three times at close range.
Investigators also found several other items in the apartment, including four pairs of women’s underwear wrapped inside of socks and hidden in a box spring.
Markoff was engaged at the time of his arrest. His fiancee, Megan McAllister, ended the relationship with Markoff after visiting him in jail, and their wedding, scheduled for Aug. 14, 2009, was subsequently canceled.
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