(ROCKAWAY, N.Y.) — New York City police have released a sketch of a witness they are looking to identify and speak to as they investigate the unsolved murder of a Queens jogger.
On Aug. 2, 30-year-old Karina Vetrano was strangled to death while jogging along a path she and her father often ran together in the Howard Beach, New York, community.
Nearly one month later, about 85 tips have come in, but the case remains unsolved. The New York Police Department still has no hits from DNA recovered from the scene. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Tuesday the killing is still believed to be a random attack. Police have talked to known shoplifters and panhandlers in the area and have traced all possible escape routes, but no suspect appears on any surveillance camera.
As police released the witness sketch Wednesday, Boyce emphasized the witness is not a suspect or a person of interest but that he was allegedly in the area at the time of the murder and police want to speak to him.
The witness is described as a black man between the age of 35 and 45 who was wearing a wool cap. He stands at about 5’10” and has a medium build.
The sketch was prepared by utility worker who was working in the area at the time.
Because nothing came of surveillance video, police are relying on witness recollection; they’ve been interviewing joggers and bicycle riders every day.
Vetrano’s devastated parents addressed the media on Aug. 18, pleading with their daughter’s killer to “own up” to the crime.
“I know that you’re tormented,” her father, Phil Vetrano, said. “I know that you’re being driven crazy. I know that you want to do the right thing.”
“My little baby was brutalized by this person, by this evil coward,” his wife, Cathy Vetrano, said. “Her last moments were horrible.”
She then spoke directly to the killer: “Show someone that you care about that you’re not as evil as the whole world thinks that you are. You can’t run. It’s just a matter of time.”
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