Phillip Vetrano, father of the woman slain while jogging in Howard Beach, wants to take the nearly $280,000 in reward money raised through GoFundMe to pay for a private detective.
“We always believed that if we raised enough reward money someone would say something,” Vetrano wrote in a post on the GoFundMe page Monday. “That did not happen.”
Although he commends the NYPD’s dedication to the investigation into his daughter Karina’s death, Vetrano believes more could be done to track down the “vicious animal” who sexually assaulted and strangled her while she was jogging through Spring Creek Park on Aug. 2.
“They’re working seven days a week around the clock. This has gotten personal for them,” he said.
“I can’t see how they could do more,” Vetrano said.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce gave Vetrano the OK to repurpose the money.
“He’s a grieving parent, and he can do what he wants,” Boyce said during a press conference Wednesday. “Mr. Vetrano has been a great partner in this.”
On the evening of Aug. 2, Karina Vetrano went out alone down a path she usually jogs with her dad. When she didn’t return and didn’t respond to calls, her father went out to find her, discovering her body in a marshy area.
In the ensuing investigation police released surveillance video of her last moments, a sketch of an individual wanted for questioning, and helped produce a TV report imploring the public’s assistance. The department has gotten 170 tips, but still no suspects.
The NYPD remains confident.
“We do believe we will make an arrest in this,” Boyce said.
On Sunday, Vetrano and about 60 supporters will participate in the Tunnel to Towers run wearing T-shirts reading “We run for KV,” and with angel wings on the back.
“We’re gonna keep this thing alive,” Vetrano said. “We want people to know that we’re still out there.”
Anyone with information regarding the killing is urged to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.