As the investigation into the murder of Howard Beach’s Karina Vetrano enters its second week, police are no closer to making an arrest.
The New York Daily News reported that tests on DNA material found on evidence recovered from the crime scene have yet to match anyone in the state DNA databank. Tests are ongoing.
Meanwhile, the Crime Stoppers hotline has boosted the reward to $20,000 for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who killed the 30-year-old Vetrano, who went out for a run from her 84th Street home on August 2 and never returned home.
Five hours later, her body was discovered among the tall weeds inside the Gateway National Recreational Area off the corner of 161st Avenue and 78th Street. Detectives and the medical examiner determined that Vetrano was raped and fatally strangled.
The crime shook the Howard Beach community to its core. Residents held vigils and tied white ribbons around area trees in her memory. Hundreds turned out at a special meeting Monday night at St. Helen’s Church where police officials and community leaders talked about the case and security issues near the park.
Hoping to entice someone to come forward, Howard Beach residents and the Vetrano family have also launched a GoFundMe page raising funds for a second reward to find Karina’s murderer. As of 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, some 19 hours after the page was created, more than 1,100 contributors have donated in excess of $99,000 to what’s being called the Karina Vetrano Memorial Reward Fund.
“The money that we seek to raise here is to supplement the $20,000 reward currently offered by the NYPD,” a statement on the GoFundMe page read. “While we greatly appreciate the help of the police, Howard Beach is a community not known for sitting back while other people work on our behalf. Karina has become the “daughter” of the entire community and we are committed to seeing justice served in her memory.”
Throughout the last eight days, the NYPD and the FBI have combed the area of the crime scene for evidence. Leads have been difficult to come by, police officials have said.
QNS will stay on top of the investigation and bring you the latest developments as they occur.
Meanwhile, anyone with information about the case that could prove helpful is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.