The New York Police Department was investigating the homicide of a 30-year-old jogger after the victim was found dead in Howard Beach, Queens, Tuesday night. Karina Vetrano was reported missing by her father after she failed to return home from her evening run.
Her father, Philip Vetrano, then contacted a police chief who lived nearby to voice his concerns since his daughter stopped replying to text messages and did not answer any phone calls. That prompted the chief to call 911, according to amNewYork.
Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce revealed that Karina Vetrano, who regularly jogs along a running trail that is a part of Spring Creek Park near the Belt Parkway, was found about 15 feet from the path, near 161st Avenue and 78th Street, just before 7 p.m.
Her body was found lying face down, her pants had been pulled down and police believe she was strangled. The New York Daily News reported that her cellphone was found near the bike path and her body was discovered closer to the shoreline.
While her official cause of death won't be announced until the city's Medical Examiner's Office releases the autopsy report, residents in her neighborhood are suspicious about the attack. One man told the Daily News, “If the weeds were not that tall, we would of seen the girl jogging on the path . . . You can grab that girl, and we wouldn't know it.’ ”
Karina Vetrano was a “thrill seeker” and “daydreamer,” according to her Instagram account. She graduated in 2015 with a master’s degree from St. John’s University and worked as a caterer at the Vetro Lounge in Howard Beach.
She was also a writer and ran her own website that she described as “a collection of conversations, contradictions and poetic conflicts.”
Police had not immediately determined whether it was a random attack.