A person of interest is now in custody for the murder of Queens, New York, jogger Karina Vetrano in August 2016

By Blake Bakkila
Updated February 05, 2017 04:02 PM

A suspect is now in custody for the murder of Queens, New York, jogger Karina Vetrano in August 2016.

The alleged suspect is described as being a man in his 20s, living in East New York, and has been a person of interest in the case for a few months, ABC reported early Sunday. Later in the day, the NYPD held a press conference where they identified the suspect as Chanel Lewis, 20.

At the press conference, police said that they do not believe that Lewis knew Vetrano prior to her disappearance. They said he had no prior criminal history aside from some summonses. According to police, Lewis gave a DNA swab to authorities after an interview on Feb. 2. His DNA allegedly matched with DNA found on Vetrano. He has been booked on murder and sexual assault charges, according to police. It is not known how he pleads against the charges or if he has retained an attorney.

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On Sunday he was seen leaving a police station in handcuffs while reporters and bystanders shouted at him. In a video from AM New York, Lewis looked around while he was led to a cop car, appearing stunned and confused, as people could be heard yelling “why’d you kill her?”

After six-month long search, the arrest took place Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn, New York, according to the New York Daily News.


Vetrano’s body was found in Spring Creek Park around 11 p.m. on Aug. 2, about a dozen feet from a jogging trail she used daily, according to police.

The 30-year-old was sexually assaulted and strangled after putting up a “ferocious fight,” investigators previously revealed. They further believe Vetrano bit her attacker, because her teeth showed signs of cracking.