NYC jogger killing: Suspect charged over Karina Vetrano death

Karina VetranoImage copyright

Police in New York City say DNA samples found on the body of a female jogger led them to the suspect in her killing.

Karina Vetrano, 30, was killed while running out alone near her home in Queens in August last year.

Investigators were unable to find even close matches on DNA found under Ms Vetrano’s fingernails, thought to have been obtained as she fought back.

But a review of 911 calls made that night led police to Chanel Lewis, 20, whose DNA they say is a match.

“You’ve got to remember Karina helped us identify this person,” Robert Boyce, New York’s chief of detectives, said.

“She had the DNA under her nails. She had touch DNA on her back and there was more DNA on her cellphone. That’s how we were able to bring this profile up. And that’s how we made the link.”

The speech therapist was jogging alone when she was sexually assaulted and strangled. Her father normally ran with her but was injured that day. He later found her body in marshland.

Police said on Sunday that the new lead came after they listened back to 911 calls from the area near where the body was found.

In one, a member of the public identified a man acting suspiciously. Chanel Lewis was arrested on Wednesday, and a DNA sample was taken.

Mr Lewis is expected to appear in court late on Sunday. His family told media in New York that he was a “humble” man who had wanted to work in social care.