Evidence that jogger found dead in Queens was strangled, police say

HOWARD BEACH, Queens -- Police said a woman whose body was found in a Queens, New York park after she vanished during an afternoon jog, may have been strangled.

Karina Vetrano, 30, left her home for a jog around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

When she failed to return, family members reported her missing and started searching for her.

Vetrano's body was found by her father about 14 blocks from her home, in the marshes of Spring Creek Park, off 161st Avenue and 78th Street. She was about 15 feet off the trail.

According to New York City Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton, she was raped and murdered.

"A horrific incident, the apparent rape and murder of a young woman jogger. If I understand correctly, during the search for her, when she did not come home, her father actually found her, so my heart goes out to him," he said Wednesday morning.
Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said it is unclear if the victim's attack was random or by someone known to her.

"Right now, we are investigating anyone who uses this park. There is a lot of digital evidence, home video, cameras that point at the street. We are collecting that as well," he said. "At 5:46 p.m., she ran past one of the homes there."

There is evidence of strangulation, Boyce said. He also confirmed there is possible evidence of sexual assault.

Vetrano had been listening to music and texting a friend during the run. Later her father, repeatedly tried to call her cell phone, which was recovered along the path.

She typically ran the path with her father, who was not with her because of an injury.

Boyce said around 9 p.m., police found a pinging on the phone, somewhere in the brush off the path. Her father walked police through the path to show them where she normally ran. He found the body face down with detectives.
Boyce said the jogging path is also used by ATVs and firetrucks putting out brush fires; neighbors and others outside the community use the path for running or other sports. It is a part of Spring Creek U.S. federal park land.