New York police continue to investigate the murder of Karina Vetrano, who was attacked in Howard Beach when she went out to jog in Spring Creek Park. It has been almost three weeks since Karina Vetrano’s broken body was found face down in the marshes by her father, Phil Vetrano. Even though rewards are being offered, police say they are still struggling to get clues that aid in the investigation.
While New York police were investigating the rape and murder of Karina Vetrano in Queens, New York, NYC resident Vanessa Marcotte was murdered also while jogging in Princeton, Massachusetts, just a half mile from her mother’s home where she was visiting, according to The Inquisitr. Though the cases have many similarities, officials claim that they do not believe there is a common suspect being sought. Investigators say that the autopsies of Vetrano and Marcotte both gleaned DNA evidence, and they are hopeful that suspects will be identified soon. In the mean time, residents of New York and Massachusetts have been increasingly cautious, and are less likely to run alone.
The Daily Beast is reporting that residents of Howard Beach are frustrated by the lack of movement in the Vetrano case, and are seeking answers. Karina Vetrano was well liked in what is known as a largely Italian immigrant community, explains resident Cathy Brancatel.
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“This is basically an Italian immigrant community. Close-knit. People have each other’s backs. Everybody on every block knows somebody.”
But even though the community is doing what it can to find out who killed Karina Vetrano, police are saying that progress is slow going according to the New York Times. Though Vetrano was attacked while jogging in a small nature preserve in Howard Beach, it is almost a “desolate wilderness” when it comes to crime scene investigation, as machetes and all-terrain vehicles have been needed to gather clues left in the environment.
An official from the police department explained that clues have been hard to come by in Spring Creek Park where the terrain is largely wetlands and woods. The official, who spoke on the promise of anonymity, suggested that the investigation of the park has not lead to any new leads.
“This won’t be solved easily,” the law enforcement official said, explaining that the most promising initial lead — DNA evidence quite likely from the assailant — had not helped identify a suspect. The DNA evidence was found on Ms. Vetrano’s hands, her throat, and her cellphone, the official said. But when a profile developed from the DNA at the crime scene was searched against the DNA profiles of known offenders, it did not result in a match.
This suggests that the perpetrator has not been in the criminal justice system in the recent past. At a news conference last week, Phil Vetrano, father of the victim, claimed that the police were closing in on a suspect.
“We have a number of very, very strong leads, and there are a few suspects that are very interesting to the police.”
But police commissioner William Bratton denies that the police have any suspects at this time, and the police still welcome any information from the community.
The New York Daily News says that the reward for information in the case of Karina Vetrano has now grown to $300,000 as her community grieves her loss. The bulk of the reward has been raised by the Vetrano family using a gofundme campaign. Vetrano’s parents are hoping that by adding to the reward, someone will come forward with information that will lead to an arrest sooner rather than later.
St. Johns University will be holding a memorial mass on September 2 and 9 in honor or former students Karina Vetrano and Arshell Dennis III, who both lost their lives recently to “acts of senseless violence,” says WPIX. The mass for Karina Vetrano will take place exactly one month after Vetrano was sexually assaulted and murdered while out on a solo jog near her home.
Do you think the police will have a suspect soon in the murder of Karina Vetrano? Do you think that the attack on jogger Vanessa Marcotte in Massachusetts is a copy cat?
[Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images]