BY ANTHONY GIUDICE AND ROBERT POZARYCKI
Finding Karina Vetrano’s killer may take some time, but local law enforcement vowed that they wouldn’t rest until the perpetrator is brought to justice.
During Monday night’s meeting at St. Helen’s Church in Howard Beach about the case, NYPD officials assured the community that officers are working hard and utilizing every available resource at the department’s disposal to find her killer.
“A lot of work remains to be done,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Carlos Gomez, who is also a former commanding officer of the 106th Precinct. “The commitment is there from our department and we will solve this thing, I promise you that.”
Since Vetrano was found last week raped and fatally strangled in the Gateway National Recreational Area off the intersection of 161st Avenue and 78th Street, detectives have combed the marshy park land for clues related to her murder. One of Vetrano’s sneakers and a set of earphones were recovered and are being tested for possible DNA evidence.
The NYPD has not been working on this alone. The community has pitched in and helped wherever possible, like providing their homes’ security camera footage to try and identify people entering of exiting the park. The FBI is also participating in the investigation.
“To date we have received 30 Crime Stopper tips,” said Deputy Chief Michael Kemper, commanding officer of the Queens South Detective Bureau. “Each and every Crime Stopper tip is being fully vetted and investigated. We encourage people to report any information they may have in regard to this incident, anything they might have seen and or any information they think might help us in this investigation.”
The reward for providing a tip that leads to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the crime has been raised to $10,000, four times the normal $2,500 reward that Crime Stoppers offers. Late on Tuesday afternoon, the NYPD announced that Crime Stoppers has increased the reward again, doubling it to $20,000.
“So far, investigators interviewed hundreds of people in regard to the incident to see if anyone saw anything, knows anything, even heard rumors,” Kemper added. “We will continue to do this. So far we have collected several pieces of evidence from the crime scene that are being forensically processed as we speak. We hope to have all of the results back very soon.”
Stay tuned to QNS for the latest developments on the Karina Vetrano case.