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Howard Beach Jogger Murder Witness Sought by NYPD

(DNAINFO)Ben Fractenberg and Rachel Holliday Smith | August 31, 2016 — Police are asking for help locating a man they hope has information that could crack the Howard Beach jogger murder.

Karina Vetrano, 30, was killed while jogging alone near her home in Howard Beach earlier this month. Police believe the man may have seen something that will help them crack the case.

The man is not considered a suspect or a person of interest, said NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.

“He was seen on the pathway of the Belt Parkway, which is in the north end of the park, Spring Creek Park,” Boyce said at an unrelated press conference. “That’s why we’re putting it out. We want to speak to this person because we feel that he was there.”

The man was seen in the area by a utility worker where Vetrano was killed. Investigators had the sketch for 10 days before they released it, Boyce said.

“We don’t know who he is, we don’t know if he’s a fellow jogger, what he’s doing,” Boyce said. It was also unclear how the man left the park, either into East New York on one end, or South Ozone Park on the other.

The man is roughly 5-foot-10 with a medium build who was wearing a red T-shirt, dark pants and a wool hat, Boyce said.

“You’ll remember the day was August 2 — a little unusual to be wearing a wool hat in the area there,” he said.

Vetrano’s father, Philip Vetrano, who usually jogged with her, reported his daughter missing on Aug. 2 after she failed to return home and later found her body in the weeds in Spring Creek Park.

Police were able to put together a DNA profile of her killer using DNA found on Vetrano’s phone, her neck and under her fingernails, but it did not match anyone in police databases.

Another jogger, who frequently used the same path as Vetrano, has spoken to police and is not considered a suspect, Boyce said.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

Source: Howard Beach Jogger Murder Witness Sought by NYPD – Howard Beach – DNAinfo New York