A 20-year-old man has been taken into custody for the death of Karina Vetrano, a New York City jogger whose body was recovered in a park last August.
At a press conference on Sunday, police identified the man as Chanel Lewis and said charges against him are pending.
DNA evidence collected at the scene of the crime in southwest Queens matched Lewis’ DNA, police said. Authorities don’t believe Lewis, who lives in nearby East New York with his mother, knew the 30-year-old victim, ABC 7 reported.
Vetrano was last seen going for a jog along the Howard Beach area of Spring Creek Park on Aug. 2, 2016, police said.
When Vetrano failed to return home, her father, a retired firefighter, went looking for her with the help of police. He found his daughter’s body about 15 feet off a path, the New York Daily News reported.
An autopsy found that she had been raped and strangled.
According to the New York Post, Lewis had been on police officers’ radars for some time after he was seen acting suspiciously in the Howard Beach area.
Lewis was reportedly questioned and released by police. During another inquiry last week, investigators asked him for a DNA sample, which he voluntarily provided. Lewis had no prior criminal history, and police hadn’t been able to find any matches when they entered DNA from the crime scene into a criminal database used to identify potential suspects.