New York City police arrested, Chanel Lewis, 20, from Brooklyn for the death of a jogger that was strangled on a secluded park path back in August near Howard Beach.
According to The New York Times, police placed their focus on Lewis within the past few days after they reviewed a 911 call that placed him within the same area back in May.
The Police Department’s chief of detectives, Robert K. Boyce, said that the call came to their attention during a “deep dive,” for additional clues.
Police say that the death of Karina Vetrano, 30, was a result of a random encounter.
Many people on social media are finding it hard to believe that the detective’s evidence would tie Lewis to the killing that occurred in August. Back in September police released a sketch of a man that was seen in the area by a utility worker.
According to police, Lewis has no criminal record, but he has received a few summonses for “minor infractions involving suspicious behavior.” Chief Boyce said Lewis received “a number of summonses in that area.” Those summonses, and the 911 call, apparently directed detectives toward Lewis.
Authorities said they arrested Lewis last week on Thursday at his mother’s home. He gave them a DNA sample, and police claim that it matched the DNA that was found under Vetrano’s nails, on her back and on her cellphone.
Chief Boyce also said that Lewis made “detailed, incriminating statements” when detectives began questioning him.
The police had said in mid-August that they had found another person’s DNA on Ms. Vetrano’s hands, throat and cellphone. However, the samples they took did not match anyone stored in national databases containing profiles of known offenders.
Investigators say they received “scores of tips,” but by last month they had ran out of meaningful leads.
On August 2, 2016, Vetrano had gone for a jog along the route she had often jogged with her father, Philip. However, this day he did not join her due to a back injury. Her father along with police investigators found her body face down in a marsh, not far from the intersection of 161st Avenue and 78th Street.
Vetrano’s father, who is a retired firefighter, is pushing for familial searching, which is a technique that would give investigators the ability to search criminal databases and identify likely relatives of an assailant.
Chanel Lewis is now facing murder and sexual assault charges in the death of Karina Vetrano.
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