A former medical student accused of killing a New York City 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, from New Jersey, ended the relationship with Markoff after visiting him in jail, and their wedding, scheduled for Aug. 14, 2009, was subsequently canceled.