Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato’s Office
The walk was to have taken place on Wednesday evening, the one-year anniversary of the brutal murder of Howard Beach native and resident Karina Vetrano.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Cathie and Phil Vetrano on Wednesday evening were set to host a first-anniversary walk in honor of the memory of their daughter, Karina, who was killed as she jogged alone on a park trail near her Howard Beach home on Aug. 2, 2016.
“Residents of Howard Beach and surrounding communities – Join us on August 2nd, 2017 for our first anniversary walk dedicated to our angel Karina Vetrano, who was horrifically murdered in her hometown of Howard Beach,” reads the e-flyer heralding the event. “Meet at 6:30 p.m. at 165th Ave and 85th Street. Walk begins at 7 p.m. down 83rd to St. Helen’s, where we will have a moment of silence and prayer. Come together as a community and show that we do not stand for violence.”
On Wednesday morning, Phil Vetrano posted a message to the Karina Vetrano Memorial Reward Fund page on the GoFundMe site.
“As you all know it’s been a year since my baby girl was murdered by that filth, that loser animal.
But this post is about giving thanks. I want to personally thank all of you that have been there with support, the list is too long to mention individuals but I need to thank my family for staying so close, Dorothy, whose undying friendship has been a comfort. Robert who has shown me there is life after death. And most of all the people of Howard Beach. I’ve been asked many times how has the community been with their support. My answer to them is: A community is a place where different people live together. Howard Beach is not a community, it is a neighborhood. The difference is a neighborhood is where everyone knows each other, where everyone knows your name and looks out for each other. Up till this tragic day I didn’t know the difference but there is a big difference. This is my neighborhood and I thank everyone here and we are indebted to you all. See you tonight.
Help spread the word!”
In April, a grand jury returned a 13-count indictment charging Chanel Lewis, 21, with murder and sexual abuse in the death of Karina Vetrano.
According to the charges, Vetrano, 30, was jogging alone in Spring Creek Park in Howard Beach at approximately 6 p.m. on Aug. 2, when she was attacked by Lewis who sexually abused and strangled her. Vetrano’s body was discovered by her father and the police later that day lying in a marshy area, approximately 15 feet from a trail near 161st Avenue and 78th Street in the federal park.