Police release sketch of person they 'need to talk to' in killing of NYC jogger

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Police investigating the killing of a 30-year-old jogger in New York City earlier this month released a sketch Wednesday showing a man they said they "need to talk to."

Karina Vetrano's father, Philip, a retired firefighter, discovered her body on Aug. 2 near a jogging trail, according to New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.

An autopsy found that she died from strangulation. "This woman put up a ferocious fight right to the end," Boyce said.

Still, investigators said clues to her death were few and far between. Her body turned up in an area surrounded by brush and with little surveillance coverage, according to police.

The sketch showed a bearded man wearing a cap. Police said he was spotted near the crime scene but was not considered a suspect or person of interest.

“You’ll remember the day was August 2 — a little unusual to be wearing a wool hat in the area there,” Boyce told reporters. He said the man wore a red T-shirt and dark pants.

Investigators also said they made a DNA profile using evidence at the scene, but it did not match anyone in a nationwide database.

A $10,000 reward was being offered for information leading to an arrest. Karina Vetrano worked for a caterer and as a speech pathologist.

She left for her daily run at about 5 p.m. on a trail in Spring Creek Park, part of a recreation area that's adjacent 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 Vetrano had "asked her not to run this path, not without him," Boyce said. "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."

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 face down in the tall grass and brush along an unpaved emergency access road about 15 feet off the running trail, police said.

Vetrano was last heard from by a friend with whom she texted, police said. There was also security video of her running along the edge of the park at about 5:45 p.m.

Police were examining other video to try to identify a suspect, Boyce said.

The running trail Vetrano used is connected to a much longer network of paths ringing Jamaica Bay that's popular with cyclists and runners. However, people often bypass the section where her body was found because it's more overgrown and desolate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.