Howard Beach woman was found dead after sexual assault and strangulation in a marshy area of a park

Howard Beach's Karina Vetrano (inset) was found dead inside Gateway National Recreational Park after being reported missing on Aug. 2.
Photo via Google Maps/Inset via Instagram

A 30-year-old Howard Beach woman who didn’t come home from her jog was found dead in a local park Tuesday night, according to police.

Karina Vetrano, 30, of 84th Street was reported as missing to the 106th Precinct by her father at about 6:58 p.m. on Aug. 2. Authorities said she was last seen alive at 5 p.m. that day, leaving her residence to go for a run in the area of Gateway National Recreational Area.


During a search of the surrounding area, officers discovered Vetrano’s body in a marshy area of the park in the vicinity of 161st Avenue and 78th Street, about a half-mile away from her home. Paramedics responding to the scene pronounced Vetrano dead.

An initial police report noted that there was “no obvious signs of trauma,” but in a DNA Info report, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said on Wednesday that there was evidence that Vetrano was strangled and possibly sexually assaulted. When contacted by QNS, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed Boyce’s remarks.

Vetrano’s body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death.

The New York Daily News reported that Vetrano worked as a caterer at nearby Vetro’s on Cross Bay Boulevard and had graduated last year from St. John’s University with a master’s degree.

An investigation is ongoing.

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