The GoFundMe campaign set up to raise reward money in the case of slain Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano topped $230,000 in contributions Friday as police continue to look for leads in the killing.
The reward money offered by the city also grew on Friday, reaching $25,000.
Shortly before 6:30 p.m., the GoFundMe tally hit $231,122 in donations from 3,348 people over two days. Amounts given have ranged from $5 to well into the thousands of dollars.
The fund was set up by Vetrano’s father, Phillip Vetrano, as a way of prompting someone to come forward with information to lead to an arrest. He could not be reached for comment Friday.
The 30-year-old St. John’s University graduate was killed on Aug. 2 after she went for a jog around 5:30 p.m. in Spring Creek Park, part of Gateway National Recreation Area. Her body was found around 10:40 p.m. that night by her father and a group of detectives.
Officials said Vetrano had been strangled and sexually assaulted. Investigators also said Vetrano fought hard against her attacker.
A task force of New York Police Department detectives is involved in the hunt for the killer and have combed Spring Creek Park in a search for clues. Cops have a found a good DNA sample from the crime scene, but have said there is no match yet to any other person.
Detectives also have collected scores of home and business surveillance videos from the Howard Beach area and have talked with known sex offenders, including those with misdemeanor records. As of yet, police have not developed any leads.
“I got a feeling that no one knows except the person who did it,” one high-ranking NYPD police official said Friday when asked about the case. “Someone has to give us a call or the DNA.”
The GoFundMe site, known as the Karina Vetrano Memorial Reward Fund, is separate from the reward being offered by the city. That fund, which on Friday grew by $5,000 to a total of $25,000, is composed of pledges of $2,500 by Crime Stoppers, $7,500 by the NYPD, $10,000 by the Police Foundation and $5,000 by the Uniformed Firefighters Association.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.
With Zachary R. Dowdy