Saturday, February 4, 2017

Suspect Apprehended In Spring Creek Jogger Killing

Jogger Karina Vetrano, 30, was raped, strangled and beaten as she ran through Spring Creek Park in Howard Beach on August 2, 2015.  Police said she entered the park at 164th Street a block way from the family’s home.   Vetrano had been listening to music and texting a friend during the run but at some point that stopped. 


By Geoffrey Croft

Police apprehended a suspect wanted in the brutal murder of jogger Karina Vetrano, 30, police sources said.

Detectives brought the man into custody this afternoon after DNA was recovered from her body. 

Police have not yet not released the suspect’s name or age and said it was an active investigation.  Charges are pending. 

He was being questioned at the 106 Precinct in Howard Beach.

The victim’s body was found late in the unmaintained invasive weeds of Spring Creek Park, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area  near 161st Ave. and 78th St. in Howard Beach, Queens, less than a half a mile from her home. 

Ms. Vetrano went out for a jog around 5:00pm but did not come home. 

  Boyce said police found a pinging on the phone somewhere in the brush off the path, and her father walked police through the marsh to show them where she normally ran. He found the body face down, with detectives.  

Her partially nude body was found hours later, near a homeless encampment, face down, her under garment around an ankle.  Grass was found clutched in her hand, a result of her being dragged in the struggle.   

She had been raped, strangled and beaten to death while out doing what she loved, running outdoors in nature.

Karina Vetrano, 30, was found by her father hours after she went out for a jog in  Spring Creek Park

She was reported missing by her father, a retired FDNY firefighter after she failed to return home after her run.  Police conducted an extensive search of the area and found her body at approximately 10:50pm. 

Police launched a massive search to find the missing woman.   For weeks investigators combed through the invasive weeds that grow up to twelve feet high for evidence.

The lack of funding for maintenance coupled with the severe lack of enforcement manpower  from the Federal Park Police needed to cover the thousands of acres of Federal land were once again brought to light during the time of the murder. 

Police cordon off the area near 161st Ave. and 78th St. in Howard Beach the morning after  the body of Karina Vetrano, 30, was found dead in the marshes of Spring Creek Park, less than a half a mile from her father's home.  Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates. (Click on images to enlarge)

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