The family of a 30-year-old runner whose body was found in a Queens marsh last week is trying to raise $100,000 for a reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
Philip Vetrano said Wednesday that his family has created a GoFundMe fundraiser to increase the reward for information leading to an arrest in the killing of his daughter Karina Vetrano.
The 30-year-old woman normally exercised with her father but disappeared after leaving for a run on Aug. 2. Her father, 60, reported her missing and was with the search party when her body was found later that week. Authorities said that she had been sexually assaulted and strangled but put up a "ferocious" fight.
No arrests have been made in the case, and authorities are reviewing digital evidence and DNA samples found at the park. Authorities have said it appeared that Vetrano was killed in a random attack.
Philip Vetrano, a retired firefighter who responded to ground zero after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, said that the family's hope in raising the money is to create a large enough incentive for someone who knows who killed his daughter to come forward.
"I need your help," he said. "Whatever you can give -- $5, it doesn't matter -- we need to raise this money and we need to raise it quickly."
So far, donors have contributed more than $27,000 toward the family's $100,000 goal. The money will be added to a $20,000 reward being offered by Crime Stoppers.
The fundraiser comes three days after Cathie Vetrano said she hoped her daughter's killer a "pathetic, puny, weak piece of filth" who would "f---ing burn in hell."
On Wednesday, Philip Vetrano and a fellow firefighter also called on the federal government to take action to cut overgrown weeds along the section of park where Karina Vetrano disappeared. Federal parks administrators have said they plan to add additional security measures at the park but that it would be costly to chop down the overgrown grass.
Vetrano's death has similarities with the killing of Vanessa Marcotte, a New York City Google employee who was found dead after leaving for a run at her mother's house in Princeton, Massachusetts, over the weekend. Her body was found in the woods about a half-mile from the home and she appeared to be the victim of a homicide.
No arrests have been made in that killing, either, and police have said that there is nothing to indicated the two killings were connected. Philip Vetrano, likewise, said the deaths were "totally unrelated."
Anyone with information about Vetrano's death should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.