Sketch of possible witness in NY jogger murder released

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Sketch released of witness in Howard Beach jogger murder
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Kemberly Richardson has the latest details.

NEW YORK -- The NYPD released a sketch of a man seen leaving Spring Creek Park in Howard Beach, Queens, around the time a jogger was killed earlier this month.

The man in the sketch is a possible witness who could provide detectives leads in the Aug. 2 homicide of Karina Vetrano. He is not considered a suspect.

Here is a look at the sketch:

Detectives believe he may be able to provide information about what he may have seen around the time Vetrano is believed to have been killed.

The man was spotted by a utility worker near the top of Spring Creek Park, and detectives have not yet been able to locate him to interview him for information.

Here is his description:

- Black male

- 35 to 45 years old

- Height: 5'10"

- Medium build

- Wearing dark pants with a red t-shirt and dark wool hat

Chief Robert Boyce with the NYPD said the dark wool hat may be key in tracking down this individual.

"Remember, the day was Aug. 2. You don't usually wear a wool hat in the area there," Boyce said. "We don't know who he is, we don't know if he is a fellow jogger, what he is doing."

Watch the NYPD's full statement about the sketch and update on the case:

The NYPD gives an update and releases a sketch in the murder of Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano.

The NYPD said Tuesday it has developed a DNA profile of the person who killed Vetrano - but it hasn't yet come up with a match.

Chief Robert Boyce told reporters Tuesday that detectives collected DNA from three different parts of the investigation - Vetrano's cellphone, touch DNA from her neck and DNA from other parts of her body.

Vetrano went missing Aug. 2 after going out for a run. Her body was found at Spring Creek Park in Queens hours later. The medical examiner said she was strangled and sexually assaulted.

The reward for the case is now up to $235,000 -- $200,000 raised by Vetrano's family via an online fundraising site, and $35,000 by the NYPD and NYC mayor's office.

PHOTOS: Jogger killed at Howard Beach in Queens

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Boyce said the investigation is now focusing on people who might have been in jail before 1998, when the nationwide database was first started, or on someone younger who might not have done jail time.

He added that detectives still believe the killing was "a random attack." He reiterated the current investigative theory that the suspect retreated through the weeds and emerged along the belt parkway in Brooklyn.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

Click here for more coverage of Karina Vetrano's murder.