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Chanel Lewis admits to killing Karina Vetrano; Police say he had hatred of women

February 6, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Chanel Lewis admits to killing Karina Vetrano; Police say he had hatred of women

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The man suspected of murdering Queens jogger Karina Vetrano lived at home with his mother and was given three summonses around the park before the violent killing, authorities said on Sunday.

Chanel Lewis, 20, was charged with murder and sexual assault after DNA located on her body and phone linked him to the killing.

Lewis also provided “detailed incriminating statements and admissions” to investigators, Robert Boyce, NYPD Chief of Detectives, said.

Officials said Lewis admitted to raping and strangling Vetrano in a rage-filled attack because of his hatred of women.

“This defendant admitted to attacking the victim, to beating her, to strangling her and dragging her body into the weeds,” Queens assistant DA Michael Curtis said.

Judge Karen Gopee ordered that the suspect remains in custody without bail as 20 members of the Vetrano family watched, The New York Daily News reported.

Lewis was arrested at approximately 6 p.m. on Saturday outside his home.

Vetrano’s parents Phil and Cathy were relieved to know that the accused killer had been identified.

The outraged mother had some blunt words for her daughter’s accused killer as he appeared in court

“He f—ing murdered my daughter, my beautiful innocent daughter,” Vetrano fumed as she confronted Lewis in court. “Now your nightmare begins.”

“The demon must get his justice,” Cathy said earlier outside her residence. “We will see to it.”

The victim’s father said he had mixed emotions about the arrest. “I’m not going to say it is a good day but we can move forward,” Phil said. “We know who did this.”

Investigators became wary of Lewis after analyzing a 911 call made from the area by someone who said the man was acting suspiciously.

On Thursday, Lewis voluntarily provided a DNA sample when police interviewed him, according to Boyce. Two days later, the sample came back as a match with the DNA found under the victim’s nails as well as on her back and cell phone after the August 2nd assault.

Authorities later learned that Lewis had been hit with three summonses — stemming back to 2013 — near the crime scene in Howard Beach.

“This is a great day for the community and the detectives that worked day in and day out, and it will hopefully bring some closure to the Vetrano family,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told reporters.

Detectives escort Chanel Lewis, 20, from the NYPD’s 107th Precinct on Sunday in Queens. (JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

The suspect’s family was in shock over the news.

“He’s a humble kid,” his father Richard Lewis, a retired elementary school teacher, stated. “It’s surprising…he’s not the person for that.”

Chanel lives with his mother, Veta, and two sisters who have young children.

Lewis’ father said they heard about the arrest on television.

His son went to high school in Far Rockaway where he excelled academically, and he wanted to work in social services.

The 30-year-old Karina Vetrano disappeared on the night of August 2nd after going for a run through Spring Creek Park in Howard Beach.

Her father found her lifeless remains face down among towering weeds about 15 feet off the isolated path while helping police look for her.

Karina Vetrano, 30, was raped and strangled as she ran through Spring Creek Park in Howard Beach. (INSTAGRAM)

Karina Vetrano was sexually assaulted and strangled after putting up an intense fight.

The slaying ignited a massive manhunt that led to few clues.

In the weeks following her murder, Vetrano’s parents made a series of desperate pleas for someone to turn in the man responsible.

Police obtained the murderer’s DNA from Vetrano’s body, but the sample didn’t match anyone in either New York or national DNA databases of criminals.

Authorities also put together a sketch of a “person of interest” seen in the park around the time of the killed, but it did not lead to a break in the case.

Vetrano’s relatives and the NYPD used the case to urge for the state to permit familial DNA testing, which would create partial matches with the killer’s family members.

“This is a powerful investigative tool that we want available to the NYPD and the public,” Deputy Chief Emanuel Katranakis said in an interview with the Daily News. “There is a public need for the victims and the victims’ families to bring closure in some cases and to fight crime.”

The State Commission on Forensic Science is scheduled to review the request next week.

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