A preliminary match has been made between bullets used to kill New York City masseuse Julissa Brisman and a gun found in the home of the accused "Craigslist Killer," police sources told the Boston Herald.
The link to a firearm found at 23-year-old Philip Markoff's apartment isn't definitive and testing hasn't yet been completed, the sources said Thursday night.
Markoff, a suspended Boston University medical student, is charged with killing Brisman, 26, of New York City at the Boston Marriott Copley Place hotel on April 14.
He also is accused of robbing another woman at gunpoint at a different Boston hotel four days earlier.
He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.
Markoff's fiancee, Megan McAllister, has insisted police have the wrong man and is still counting on their wedding happening as scheduled in August.
The 25-year-old woman is, "as expected, not well," her father, Jim McAllister, told the Herald. His daughter is "praying" that Markoff will be found not guilty, he said.
Meanwhile, Boston authorities are hoping that an ad they placed on Craigslist will lead them to information about other potential victims of the "Craigslist Killer," who allegedly chose his targets using the popular classifieds Web site.
"Were you attacked or robbed at a Boston-area hotel after placing an ad on Craigslist?" the police posting asks. "If so, you may have information that could aid the investigation."
Brisman, who had advertised her erotic massage services on Craigslist, was found dead in a hotel doorway after she'd been shot three times and bashed in the head. Police believe she was killed after trying to fight her attacker.
Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk County prosecutors, said Boston police placed their ad in the "erotic services" section of Craigslist.
He said detectives hope it will persuade any other women who may have been victims of Markoff's alleged attacks to come forward.
The posting does not mention Markoff by name, and Wark said investigators are not sure there are other victims.
Brisman's underwear was allegedly found in Markoff's Boston-area apartment and a gun was stuffed into a hollowed-out "Gray's Anatomy" textbook, according to media reports.
Markoff hoarded the underwear of two of his victims — Brisman and the 29-year-old Las Vegas woman who survived the armed robbery, according to the Herald.
Police haven't publicly confirmed the discovery of the underwear, and Markoff hasn't been accused of sexually assaulting either victim.
Meanwhile, a college friend of Markoff's told the New York Daily News that she once had a scary encounter with the accused attacker after a night out drinking. The two were walking back to their dorms on campus after a fraternity party.
"He pushed me up against the wall and tried kissing me," Morgan Houston, who was in the same pre-med program as Markoff at SUNY Albany, told the Daily News.
She said she protested, but was frightened because her study partner was trying to overpower her. Luckily, another male friend yanked Markoff away from Houston, the paper reported.
A law enforcement official, speaking to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case, said Markoff had been placed on suicide watch at the Boston jail where he is being held.
Multiple media outlets reported what appeared to be shoelace marks were found on his neck.
Investigators in the case are looking into gambling as the possible motive for the attacks. The law enforcement official said Markoff was a "frequent visitor" to Foxwoods casino in Connecticut.
Markoff was arrested on Monday on Interstate 95 in Massachusetts as he and his fiancee drove to Foxwoods.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said Markoff's original motive in the Brisman case was robbery, but he ended up killing the masseuse when she fought back.
The first woman Markoff is accused of robbing, whose name hasn't been released, said she thinks she's alive because she didn't resist.
"I just complied with everything he wanted me to do and I didn't resist him in any way, and I think that's why," she said in an interview with Boston television station WCVB.
Markoff also is suspected in an attempted robbery in Warwick, R.I., of a woman who had posted a Craigslist ad as a stripper.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.