A retired NYC firefighter who enjoyed going for runs in Queens with his 30-year-old daughter bowed out Tuesday because his back was hurting. But before Karina Vetrano left for her jog around 5pm, Philip Vetrano asked her to pick a different path than the remote one in Howard Beach they usually ran together, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce tells the New York Daily News. When Karina didn't come back that evening and didn't pick up her phone, Boyce says, her dad reported her missing and headed out to the path with police officers, where they made an awful discovery late Tuesday: first, Karina's cellphone on the side of the path he had warned her about, then her body in the marshes.
"[Vetrano] found her face-down on the ground," Boyce says, adding that so far signs point to Karina being strangled. Boyce notes there were also signs of a struggle, per PIX11, and evidence also suggests a sexual assault occurred, with "marks on the body that were consistent with [that]," says an NYPD spokesman, reports the New York Post. The unpaved path along the Belt Parkway is described in the Daily News as being popular with runners, bikers, and even ATVers, but not one that's particularly safe, with one of the Vetranos' neighbors telling the Post it’s frequented by "hobos and bums" and another saying, "All girls know not to walk along these weeds."