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Jogger in Queens, N.Y. was sexually assaulted before she was killed in broad daylight: Police

August 3, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Jogger in Queens, N.Y. was sexually assaulted before she was killed in broad daylight: Police

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The female jogger who was discovered strangled to death near a bike path in a swampy area in Howard Beach, Queens was sexually assaulted before she was murdered, police reported.

Karina Vetrano, who had just returned from celebrating her 30th birthday in St. Tropez, France, was discovered dead by her father on Tuesday night during a police search. Reports indicate that the young woman was found with her leggings pulled halfway down.

During a press conference on Wednesday, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce stated: “At 9 o’clock, there was a ping off her cell phone, the father walked us through the area, and the father found the body face down. There’s evidence of strangulation.”

Boyce also told reporters that evidence suggested the attack had occurred in broad daylight and the victim’s father had advised her not to go running in that area by herself. Her father was unable to accompany her because of a recent back injury.

Her father Phil, a retired FDNY firefighter who was working during 9/11, was with police when he made the devastating discovery

Her father Phil, a retired FDNY firefighter who was working during 9/11, was with police when he made the devastating discovery

During her jog, Vetrano, a graduate of St. John’s University, was texting with her friend, but Boyce said that those texts abruptly stopped. Her father repeatedly tried to call her, but she did not answer her phone.

The New York Daily News reported Vetrano’s father called his neighbor, a police chief for the NYPD, who immediately contacted authorities.

“We don’t have anything that leads us to any individual. There’s a lot of digital evidence, home video, cameras looking into the street. We’re collecting that right now,” Boyce added.

He continued, “We have one shot 5:46 [of her] running by one of the homes there. Her phone is going to help us out, we have other evidence at the scene.”

Stephen Davis, a spokesperson for the NYPD, announced that it seems that the woman was sexually assaulted before her murder.

Karina Vetrano, pictured, shared photographs of herself of vacation

Karina Vetrano, pictured, shared photographs of herself of vacation

He said, “The [medical examiner] needs to confirm that, but there were marks on the body that were consistent with sexual assault,” Davis said at the presser.

Before Vetrano’s body was identified, heartbroken neighbors feared the worst, as one girl fell in tears as police officers swarmed the community.

One neighbor noted that “She had a routine jog.”

Another next-door-neighbor, who referred to himself as John, said that the woman went running with her father every night before he got hurt. He added that Vetrano’s father warned her against running through the marshy area.

John said, “They found her phone over here [on the path] . . . If these weeds weren’t this high, we would have seen her.”

Another neighbor said that “hobos and bums” typically hide in the weeded area.

In a recent post on Vetrano’s Instagram with her father on his 60th birthday, Vetrano said that he was her “hero” and wrote, “I’m so blessed to have a father I can call my best friend.”

Vetrano, an avid runner, posted a picture on Instagram that showed her wearing her medal from the Spartan Race at Citi Field just 15 weeks ago.

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