A man has been arrested over the murder of a jogger who went missing in August last year in Queens, NY.
30-year-old Karina Vetrano was found dead after her father rang the police and informed them that she was missing, on a secluded park path in Queens.
The New York Times reports that 20-year-old Chanel Lewis has been arrested over the murder, after police found DNA that matched his under Karina's fingernails, on her back, and on her mobile phone. They linked him as a potential suspect through a deep dive revealing that he was involved with a 911 call in May that was in the same area.
Chief Robert K. Boyce of the NYPD said that Lewis had also made 'detailed, incriminating statements' when questioned.
According to New York Post sources Lewis told police, “I was angry. I had some issues at home. I just lost it. When I saw her, I just hit her and kept hitting her. I hit her and choked her.”
ABC7 reports that Lewis has filmed two video confessions, indicating he was angry at something at home beofre the incident.
Karina's parents spoke to the press yesterday after hearing the news of an arrest. Her mother, Cathie Vetrano, said that the suspect is an 'animal', a 'savage' and a 'demon'.
"Our sorrow is so endlessly painful that hearing the news is not what I expected,” Mrs. Vetrano said. “There’s no happiness.”
Chanel Lewis has no previous criminal record, however now faces murder and sexual assault charges.
Karina Vetrano ran the same route almost everyday near their home in Howard Beach, Queens, usually with her father, but on August 2 he stayed home due to a sore back, reports the NY Times.
He urged her not to take this route, which cut through a secluded path without him there, but she reassured him she would be fine.
When she didn’t return home on time, her retired firefighter father knew something was wrong. Calling a neighbour who was the local police commander, they began a desperate search.
Using phone signals to narrow the search, it was her own father who discovered her lifeless body, face down, with her clothes partially removed, in tall grass alongside an emergency trail a way off the running track.
Lewis is being held without bail on a second-degree murder charge.