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Suspected Craigslist Killer Commits Suicide

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A former medical student accused of killing a masseuse he metthrough Craigslist committed suicide in the Boston jail where hewas awaiting trial, authorities said Sunday.

Philip Markoff, 24, was found unresponsive in his cell Sundaymorning in the Nashua Street Jail, the Suffolk County districtattorney's office said in an e-mailed statement, and he waspronounced dead at about 10:15 a.m.

"Markoff was alone in his cell, and all evidence collected thusfar indicates that he took his own life," the statement said.

Authorities will investigate to determine the facts andcircumstances surrounding his death, the district attorney said.Saturday would have been Markoff's first wedding anniversary,but his nuptials were canceled after his arrest.

Markoff, a former Boston University student, pleaded not guiltyin the fatal shooting of Julissa Brisman, of New York City, and thearmed robbery of a Las Vegas woman. Both crimes happened at Bostonhotels within the span of four days in April 2009. Rhode Islandprosecutors also accused him of attacking a stripper that week.

His trial in the Massachusetts cases was expected in March.

Markoff's lawyer, John Salsberg, said he was shocked andsaddened about his client's death. He would not comment further.

Markoff had met the women through advertisements for eroticservices posted on Craigslist, a classified advertising Web site,prosecutors said.

The Boston Police Department crime lab identified two bloodstains taken from swabs on a handgun that was seized during asearch of Markoff's apartment in Quincy, Mass., said prosecutors,who alleged Markoff used the weapon to bludgeon Brisman before shewas shot three times at close range.

Investigators also found several other items in the apartment,including four pairs of women's underwear wrapped inside socks andhidden in a box spring, authorities said.

Markoff was engaged at the time of his arrest. His fiancee,Megan McAllister, ended the relationship with Markoff aftervisiting him in jail, and their wedding, scheduled for Aug. 14,2009, was canceled.

In April 2009, Markoff, who had been arrested during a trafficstop as he drove to a Connecticut casino, was placed on suicidewatch at the jail where he was being held. Newspaper reports saidauthorities had found shoelace marks on his neck.

Markoff's parents, Susan Haynes and Richard Markoff, didn'tspeak to reporters about their son at the time but said through hisattorney they loved him very much and supported him. The attorneysaid then the parents were "very concerned about him," but hewouldn't discuss his client's condition.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APTV 08-15-10 1654EDT

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