At the start of August, avid jogger Karina Vetrano was found raped and murdered near a jogging trail in Howard Beach, Queens. Despite a reward of nearly $300K for any information on the case, the cops still have no official suspect nearly a month later. But Vetrano's father says he has a person of interest: a fellow jogger who frequented the same path in Spring Creek Park as Vetrano who has seemingly gone missing in the weeks since her disappearance.
Phillip Vetrano, who usually ran with his daughter but didn't that night because of a back issue, said on "The Drive at Five" with Curtis Sliwa that the man in question has "dropped off the face of the Earth."
"There was this one particular runner, and I want to talk to especially the people from my neighborhood, Howard Beach, they have to pay very good attention to this," Phillip Vetrano said. "He would run down 84th Street, south towards 165th Avenue, make a left heading east on 165th Avenue, and return the same route. Now I would see him, I've seen him for three years, four or five days a week. I have not seen him since."
The father described the man as between 30 and 35 years old, 5-foot-9, and 150 pounds with black hair parted to the side. He added that he has a "very strange” stride, is "very, very" fit, and often wears sunglasses.
Police cautioned to the News that the jogger he described is not an official suspect, but they would like to speak to him: "We’d like to speak with anyone who can assist us in the investigation,” said an NYPD spokeswoman.
Karina Vetrano was slain on August 2nd, when the 30-year-old was dragged off a jogging trail in Spring Creek Park sometime after 5 p.m. She was badly beaten, with some of her teeth reportedly knocked out. Her hands were still clutching weeds, and the police believe she fought her killer to the end.
Phillip Vetrano previously intimated to the Post that he knew who the suspected killer was, beseeching family members to call the police: "We know there is a family member of the killer that we need for them to come forward, to finalize this very quickly. She is in great distress. We know she wants to make that call. Make that call." Police Commissioner Bill Bratton later said that wasn’t true, and reiterated his appeal to the public for information to help close the case.