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KILLER friends; Lizzi's love of the water inspired her studies, but it soon became her final resting place.

Elizabeth 'Lizzi' Marriott, 19, had just started to study marine biology at the University of New Hampshire - it was the perfect subject for Lizzi, who adored nature and was always rescuing animals in need. The university was a few hours away from her home town in Massachusetts, so she was living with her aunt and uncle during term time. The young, trusting student was keen to make friends and settle in.

On October 9, 2012, Lizzi told her aunt and uncle she was going to a friend's house and she'd be back by midnight. The following day, she still hadn't returned and her family assumed she'd stayed the night. But as the hours ticked by, they started to panic. It was very unlike Lizzi not to be in touch. Her parents reported her missing and jumped in the car to search for her.

Lizzi's last text had said she was visiting a girl called Kat. Police figured out that was Kathryn McDonough who worked with Lizzi at the local department store. Kat, 19, had acted like a regular teenager before she'd met her boyfriend Seth Mazzaglia, 39, a year earlier. She'd quickly moved in with him, dropped out of school and stopped contacting her family.

Lured in

Seth had a job at the local electronics store and taught martial arts, but his real obsession was with fetish sex. He'd got Kat involved in bondage and domination and their details were found on fetish websites as they trawled for threesomes. But Lizzi wasn't part of that world. She'd just wanted to be Kat's friend.

Police brought Kat and Seth in for questioning. Kat insisted Lizzi had never shown up that day so she'd gone to a local cemetery to try and take photos of ghosts. Seth said he'd gone for a run. But his story soon started to change. He said Lizzi had come to the house where she'd played strip poker with Kat. He admitted that, afterwards, while they were having consensual sex, Seth had tightened a rope too tight around Lizzi's neck and she'd had a seizure.

Seth said Kat helped him dump her body in the Piscataqua River which leads to the Atlantic Ocean, but despite extensive searches, police still couldn't find her. Seth was arrested and charged with murder.

In a bin outside his apartment officers found some of Lizzi's clothes and a pair of black gloves. But friends and family disputed the sordid story - it was out of Lizzi's character.

After Seth's arrest, Kat changed her story and said Lizzi had come to the flat that day but her death was an accident. They'd watched a film, played cards and the night led to consensual sex between the three of them. 'It started going from silly to sexual,' she admitted.

Kat insisted Lizzi had agreed to be tied up with bondage ropes, but while Kat was on top of Lizzi, she'd suffered a seizure, suffocated and died. The police noted Kat was 'almost upbeat' as she described her friend's death.

Used as 'an offering'

Police had Seth's confession but couldn't prove Kat was involved in the murder. Two months later, she was charged with three counts involving hindering an investigation. Without a body to provide evidence, authorities had no choice but to offer Kat a deal. If she testified against Seth, she'd get a maximum of three years. She accepted.

In May 2014, Seth Mazzaglia faced the jury.

Lizzi still hadn't been found, so the jury had to believe a murder had taken place.

Kat testified she was under Seth's control. They had an adventurous sex life and he had explicit demands. A text was read out that Seth had sent Kat weeks before the killing. It read, 'You choose a friend, any of yours will do and you offer her to me that I may do anything I wish with her, while you watch.' Kat admitted she had chosen Lizzi as her 'offering' and lured her to their flat to watch a film. Lizzi had no idea she was being set up. Later in the evening, Seth made his move.

Seth suggested that I should kiss Lizzi, but she said she wasn't comfortable with that,' Kat said. 'He asked her if he could have sex with me in the room. She said no.' Seth was angry that he'd been told no - and twice. While Lizzi watched a film, he put on the black gloves and reached for a rope. 'He moved up behind her and he pulled the rope over her neck and strangled her,' Kat said. 'She let out a quick noise and then she sort of stopped moving.' Seth then raped her. It was a deeply upsetting testimony for Lizzi's family.

Kat claimed they put Lizzi's body into her own car and drove 13 miles to the coast where they threw her off a cliff. When her body landed on rocks, Kat climbed down and pushed her into the water. Afterwards, they dumped the car, Lizzi's clothing and the rope used to kill her.

Seth's defence team said it had been a tragic sex game that had gone horribly wrong. They said it was Kat who was in control that night, and had suffocated Lizzi, just as she'd confessed at the start. Seth had gone along with it to please her - and Kat had pinned the crime on her boyfriend to get the lesser sentence.

But the black gloves that were shown to the jury showed premeditation and although Kat was a known liar, she testified for 10 days at Strafford Superior Court while Seth stayed silent. It was her words the jury heard.

After five weeks, Seth was found guilty of first degree murder and rape. At the sentencing, there were emotional statements. Lizzi's mother Melissa Marriott said, 'Mr. Mazzaglia, I want you to know I unequivocally hate you,' she said. 'You are a cowardly, despicable person. You stole our smart, vivacious, beautiful daughter from us. You murdered Lizzi, raped her lifeless body and then threw her away because Lizzi had the selfconfidence and self-esteem to say no to you.'

Lizzi's dad Bob said, 'All the goodness in Lizzi could not save her from you,' he told Seth. 'When you killed her, you cemented your place on the side of evil.' Seth Mazzaglia protested his innocence. 'I did not rape and murder Elizabeth Marriott,' he said. 'I did play a part in covering up her death and for that I am truly sorry.' He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Kat McDonough, now 20, will be released in 2016.

All Lizzi wanted was the chance to make friends - but she found enemies. Lizzi's family are still grieving, and without a body they have no closure. For now, the water that she loved is to be her final resting place.

The evidence

Police found the gloves Mazzaglia used to kill Lizzi

The family

Lizzi with her parents in happier times

The killers

Kathryn McDonough was in a fetishist sexual relationship with Seth Mazzaglia - she was so under his control, he persuaded her to 'offer up' one of her friends to him

You choose a friend, offer her to me that I may do anything with her, while you watch'

CAPTION(S):

The victim Lizzi Marriott had just started university and was looking for a friend
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Mar 29, 2015
Words:1224
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