20-year-old man charged in murder of New York woman Karina Vetrano

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Kristin Thorne reporting live from Ozone Park

A 20-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano, authorities announced Sunday.

Chanel Lewis, 20, was arrested after the medical examiner's lab matched DNA evidence from the crime scene and Vetrano to the suspect, police said.

DNA was recently obtained from Lewis through a voluntarily cheek swab. It was taken previously from under Vetrano's fingernails, behind her ear and on her cellphone.

Lewis has no prior arrests. He lives in East New York with his mother, and police said they do not believe he was stalking or knew Vetrano. Detectives took him into custody Saturday and they said he was interviewed by detectives and made detailed confessions.

According to New York Police Chief Robert Boyce, Lewis was interviewed on Thursday during their canvass of the area, but police had no evidence to arrest him. It is not believed that he knew Vetrano and authorities said this was a chance encounter.


Vetrano left her home for a jog around 5 p.m. on Aug. 2. When she failed to return, family members reported her missing and started searching for her.

Vetrano's body was found around 9 p.m. by her father about 14 blocks from her home, in the marshes of Spring Creek Park, off 161st Avenue and 78th Street. She was about 15 feet off the trail.

The medical examiner's office performed an autopsy and ruled Vetrano's death a homicide, saying she was strangled.

Related Topics:
murderjoggingmissing womanstranglingu.s. & worldNew York CityNew York
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