The father of a New York City jogger is “traumatized” after finding the girl’s body in tall weeds, a family friend said, and police have issued a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of her killer.
Philip Vetrano, 60, discovered 30-year-old Karina Vetrano lying face down late Tuesday night as he desperately searched with police for any sign of his daughter, The New York Post reported. Authorities have said the condition of her body was consistent with a sexual assault and she likely was strangled to death. Vetrano had been jogging in an area popular with vagrants and homeless people.
“He’s traumatized,” a family friend told the Post. “This is too much for them.”
Police were scouring the area for surveillance footage and interviewing ex-boyfriends and people at a nearby homeless encampment.
Authorities also issued a $2,500 reward on Thursday morning for information leading to an arrest, CBS reported.
Karina Vetrano left for her daily run at about 5 p.m. Tuesday on a trail in Spring Creek Park, part of a recreation area next to her home in the Howard Beach neighborhood, police said. Normally, the victim ran with her father, but he stayed home because of a bad back, they said.
Philip had "asked her not to run this path, not without him," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Tuesday at a briefing near the scene of the crime. "If you're a runner you understand that you run every night as part of your routine, so she went, and said she'd be all right."
But Vetrano didn't return on time and didn't answer her father's phone calls, so he contacted a police commander neighbor who called 911. After police used cellphone signals to narrow the search area, her father spotted her body near an unpaved emergency access road about 15 feet off the running trail, police said.
Vetrano's last known communication was a series of text messages with a friend, police said. Security video showed her running along the edge of the park at about 5:45 p.m.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.