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Water searched for Massachusetts student believed slain

  • The New Hampshire Marine Patrol continues to search the Piscataqua River near a cliff on Pierce Island for the body Elizabeth "Lizzy" Marriott, a missing University of New Hampshire student on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 in Portsmouth, N.H.  Seth Mazzaglia, a 29-year-old martial arts instructor was held without bail Monday on a charge of strangling or suffocating Marriott, who vanished a week ago. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    The New Hampshire Marine Patrol continues to search the Piscataqua River near a cliff on Pierce Island for the body Elizabeth "Lizzy" Marriott, a missing University of New Hampshire student on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 in Portsmouth, N.H. Seth Mazzaglia, a 29-year-old martial arts instructor was held without bail Monday on a charge of strangling or suffocating Marriott, who vanished a week ago. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

  • In this Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 photo, a Portsmouth fire boat joins the search of the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, N.H., for the body of missing University of New Hampshire student Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott of Westborough, Mass. Seth Mazzaglia of Dover, N.H., is accused of strangling or suffocating Marriott on Tuesday, Oct. 9, the day she disappeared. A judge ordered the 29-year-old martial arts instructor held without bail Monday, Oct. 15, on a second-degree murder charge in connection with Marriott's death. Marriott's body hasn't been found and officials are expected to decide Monday how to proceed in the search. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    In this Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 photo, a Portsmouth fire boat joins the search of the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, N.H., for the body of missing University of New Hampshire student Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott of Westborough, Mass. Seth Mazzaglia of Dover, N.H., is accused of strangling or suffocating Marriott on Tuesday, Oct. 9, the day she disappeared. A judge ordered the 29-year-old martial arts instructor held without bail Monday, Oct. 15, on a second-degree murder charge in connection with Marriott's death. Marriott's body hasn't been found and officials are expected to decide Monday how to proceed in the search. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

  • This undated family photo shows Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott. The New Hampshire Attorney Generals office said Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 that Marriott, who disappeared Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 is dead, and a man has been charged with second-degree murder. (AP Photo/Britney Atwood)

    This undated family photo shows Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott. The New Hampshire Attorney Generals office said Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 that Marriott, who disappeared Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 is dead, and a man has been charged with second-degree murder. (AP Photo/Britney Atwood)

  • Seth Mazzaglia, bottom center, is seen during his video arraignment from the Strafford County jail in Dover, N.H. to the district court in Dover  Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Mazzaglia was charged with killing Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott, a 19-year-old University of New Hampshire student. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    Seth Mazzaglia, bottom center, is seen during his video arraignment from the Strafford County jail in Dover, N.H. to the district court in Dover Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Mazzaglia was charged with killing Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott, a 19-year-old University of New Hampshire student. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama arrives at a fundraising event for Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.  Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, longtime Senate moderate and architect of one-bullet theory in JFK death, died Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012.  He was 82. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama arrives at a fundraising event for Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, longtime Senate moderate and architect of one-bullet theory in JFK death, died Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012. He was 82. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

  • FILE - In this July 1, 2005 file photo, then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., reacts to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement announcement on Capitol Hill. Specter, the outspoken Pennsylvania centrist whose switch from Republican to Democrat ended a 30-year career in which he played a pivotal role in several Supreme Court nominations, died Sunday. He was 82. Specter, who announced in late August that he was battling cancer, died at his home in Philadelphia from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, said his son Shanin. Over the years, Arlen Specter had fought two previous bouts with Hodgkin's disease, overcome a brain tumor and survived cardiac arrest following bypass surgery.  (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)

    FILE - In this July 1, 2005 file photo, then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., reacts to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement announcement on Capitol Hill. Specter, the outspoken Pennsylvania centrist whose switch from Republican to Democrat ended a 30-year career in which he played a pivotal role in several Supreme Court nominations, died Sunday. He was 82. Specter, who announced in late August that he was battling cancer, died at his home in Philadelphia from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, said his son Shanin. Over the years, Arlen Specter had fought two previous bouts with Hodgkin's disease, overcome a brain tumor and survived cardiac arrest following bypass surgery. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)

  • The New Hampshire Marine Patrol continues to search the Piscataqua River near a cliff on Pierce Island for the body Elizabeth "Lizzy" Marriott, a missing University of New Hampshire student on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 in Portsmouth, N.H.  Seth Mazzaglia, a 29-year-old martial arts instructor was held without bail Monday on a charge of strangling or suffocating Marriott, who vanished a week ago. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    The New Hampshire Marine Patrol continues to search the Piscataqua River near a cliff on Pierce Island for the body Elizabeth "Lizzy" Marriott, a missing University of New Hampshire student on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 in Portsmouth, N.H. Seth Mazzaglia, a 29-year-old martial arts instructor was held without bail Monday on a charge of strangling or suffocating Marriott, who vanished a week ago. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

  • The New Hampshire Marine Patrol continues to search the Piscataqua River near a cliff on Pierce Island for the body Elizabeth "Lizzy" Marriott, a missing University of New Hampshire student on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 in Portsmouth, N.H.  Seth Mazzaglia, a 29-year-old martial arts instructor was held without bail Monday on a charge of strangling or suffocating Marriott, who vanished a week ago. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
  • In this Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 photo, a Portsmouth fire boat joins the search of the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, N.H., for the body of missing University of New Hampshire student Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott of Westborough, Mass. Seth Mazzaglia of Dover, N.H., is accused of strangling or suffocating Marriott on Tuesday, Oct. 9, the day she disappeared. A judge ordered the 29-year-old martial arts instructor held without bail Monday, Oct. 15, on a second-degree murder charge in connection with Marriott's death. Marriott's body hasn't been found and officials are expected to decide Monday how to proceed in the search. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
  • This undated family photo shows Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott. The New Hampshire Attorney Generals office said Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 that Marriott, who disappeared Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 is dead, and a man has been charged with second-degree murder. (AP Photo/Britney Atwood)
  • Seth Mazzaglia, bottom center, is seen during his video arraignment from the Strafford County jail in Dover, N.H. to the district court in Dover  Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Mazzaglia was charged with killing Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott, a 19-year-old University of New Hampshire student. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
  • FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama arrives at a fundraising event for Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.  Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, longtime Senate moderate and architect of one-bullet theory in JFK death, died Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012.  He was 82. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
  • FILE - In this July 1, 2005 file photo, then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., reacts to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement announcement on Capitol Hill. Specter, the outspoken Pennsylvania centrist whose switch from Republican to Democrat ended a 30-year career in which he played a pivotal role in several Supreme Court nominations, died Sunday. He was 82. Specter, who announced in late August that he was battling cancer, died at his home in Philadelphia from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, said his son Shanin. Over the years, Arlen Specter had fought two previous bouts with Hodgkin's disease, overcome a brain tumor and survived cardiac arrest following bypass surgery.  (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)
  • The New Hampshire Marine Patrol continues to search the Piscataqua River near a cliff on Pierce Island for the body Elizabeth "Lizzy" Marriott, a missing University of New Hampshire student on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 in Portsmouth, N.H.  Seth Mazzaglia, a 29-year-old martial arts instructor was held without bail Monday on a charge of strangling or suffocating Marriott, who vanished a week ago. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Nineteen-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott, of Westborough, Mass., vanished Oct. 9 after attending an evening class in Durham. Seth Mazzaglia, 29, was charged Saturday with second-degree murder and is accused of strangling or suffocating her in his apartment that night. Her body hasn’t been found, but authorities have been searching the waters around Peirce Island in nearby Portsmouth.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said Monday that “credible information” has led authorities to focus their efforts on the 27-acre island that separates the city from the Piscataqua River. Marine patrol officials have been using sonar and an underwater camera, she said, but the river’s currents and eddies have hampered their efforts.

“The search in that area may last several more days,” she said. “We have not discussed an end date. We have discussed continuing this until we find her.”

Authorities in Maine and Massachusetts also have been notified in case her body washes up there, Young said.

Mazzaglia, an actor and martial arts instructor, didn’t speak during a brief arraignment Monday, and his court-appointed attorneys didn’t object to the prosecutor’s request that he be held without bail.

Craig Faulkner, who works at a theater company where Mazzaglia had auditioned, said he chatted with Mazzaglia for about 20 minutes on Friday while shopping at Best Buy in Newington. Mazzaglia, who was working in the store’s video game section, told him: “Life is good,” said Faulkner, producing artistic director at Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth.

“I just asked him, ‘How are things?’ He said, ‘Things are really good,’” Faulkner told The Associated Press on Monday.

Marriott, of Westborough, Mass., was living with an aunt in Chester, N.H., and commuting to the university in Durham, where she was majoring in marine biology. She was last heard from Oct. 9 when she made plans to visit friends in Dover after class, but she never showed up. Her cellphone was last used in Dover that night, according to fliers posted by family members, but authorities said her car was found several miles away in a parking lot on campus in Durham.

Family and friends spent several frantic days searching for her before charges were announced over the weekend. Police have not said what led them to arrest Mazzaglia or how he knew Marriott.

“They were familiar with each other,” Young said Monday.

Mazzaglia graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2006 with a degree in theater, Faulkner said. He was known as the “go-to guy” for fight choreography in the area.

Faulkner described Mazzaglia as a quiet, respectful guy but also as someone with a nerdy vibe that made him a bit of “an odd duck.”

“He’s just a little unusual. ... I don’t really know how to explain it,” he said. “You don’t meet him and go, ‘Wow, that guy’s a murderer.’”

Faulkner said he never ended up casting Mazzaglia, called him more of a character actor than a leading man. He said Mazzaglia has an advanced black belt designation.

Faulkner said he was later playing the video game Mazzaglia sold him when he heard news of the man’s arrest.

“What I thought about is, I shook his hand two times and if he actually did this. It was one of those, Are you ... kidding me moments,” Faulkner said.

Friends and family have described Marriott as a fun-loving, trusting young woman with a wide circle of friends who was active in chorus and a prom queen in high school. She loved animals, volunteered at the New England Aquarium and helped put herself through school by working at Target.

Ken Ziniti, a store manager at the Target store in Greenland, said Marriott was one of the nicest young people he’s met.

“Put a smile on everybody’s faces,” he said. “She worked all over the sales floor, always out in front of the guests.”

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