The police have doubled the reward for information aiding in the investigation of the killing of Karina Vetrano. Vetrano, an avid runner, was raped and murdered last week while jogging in Howard Beach, Queens. At a community meeting on Monday, NYPD Chief of Queens South Detective Michael Kemper said to residents worried about their safety, "Certainly I would recommend using caution."

Vetrano had left her home around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2nd, and when she didn't answer calls from her father, Philip Vetrano, he contacted a neighbor who is an NYPD assistant chief. At 11 p.m., police zeroed in on the location of her phone in Spring Creek Park near 161 Avenue and 78 Street; Philip Vetrano was the first to find her body.

The 30-year-old was badly beaten, with her teeth reportedly knocked out, and her clothes pushed down, suggesting she was sexually assaulted. Her hands were still clutching weeds, and the police believe she fought her killer to the end.

Her father, who usually ran with her but didn't that night because of a back issue, had apparently warned her not to run near the desolate, weedy marshland of Spring Creek Park. Vetrano's death and the murder of Vanessa Marcotte, a NYC resident who was killed while jogging in Massachusetts, have heightened worries about jogging alone. From the NY Times:

“It absolutely has created fear,” said Kathy Ioannou, leader of the Brooklyn chapter of She Runs This Town, a running group for women. “We don’t feel comfortable running alone. We’re frightened.”

Ms. Ioannou, 51, said she had seen a “huge spike” in the last two days of women from her group asking her to set up more group runs so that members did not have to go alone.

She has made changes to her own running route, choosing to run in the street against traffic instead of in the golf course near her home in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. She has also stopped running with headphones and has not left the house without her Road ID, which contains her emergency contact information.

Police have not said there's any connection between Vetrano's and Marcotte's murder, but the authorities have reportedly been sharing information.

The NYPD recovered DNA from Vetrano, but there are no hits yet in the DNA database.

Cameras are being installed in Spring Creek Park. Residents have spoke about "hobos" and "vagrants" living there, and even some homeless people refuse to go into the park; one told the TImes, "I don’t go back there. I don’t know who is back there."

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.