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NYPD questions man in killing of jogger Karina Vetrano, source says

Karina Vetrano was found dead in the marshes

Karina Vetrano was found dead in the marshes near 161st Ave. and 78th St. in Howard Beach, Queens. Credit: Facebook

NYPD detectives late Saturday were questioning a man in the killing of Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano last August, a high-ranked law enforcement source said.

The person of interest, who as of late Saturday was not under arrest, was picked up by investigators in the East New York area, a section close to Spring Creek Park where Vetrano, 30, was strangled and sexually assaulted on Aug. 2 while jogging, the source said.

Police are planning to hold a news briefing Sunday on the developments in what has been a six-month investigation that has had a number of leads that never panned out. Police recovered DNA from Vetrano’s body but could not match it to any profile of convicted offenders in the New York State database.

The source wouldn’t say if DNA was used to zero in on the latest person of interest.

The NYPD, prosecutors and the Vetrano family have been calling for use of an emerging form of DNA analysis known as “familial searching” to help in the investigation. A state hearing into the new search technique is scheduled Wednesday in Manhattan.

Last Wednesday during a media briefing, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said that investigators had developed a new lead but declined to elaborate. He indicated police had focused heavily on the area around Erskine Street in East New York.

Vetrano’s death sparked a massive public campaign by her family that raised more than $200,000 in reward money through a GoFundMe campaign. Vetrano’s father, Philip, said Saturday night that he had not been told about the latest development in the case.

Police sources said cops had come across at least three other persons of interest in the investigation but that DNA analysis cleared them.

An NYPD spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment Saturday night.

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