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Karina Vetrano's Killer Likely Knows Park But Changed Habits, Police Say

By Kathleen Culliton | December 15, 2016 7:58am
 Karina Vetrano, 30, was found in running trails in the Gateway National Recreation Center near her home.
Karina Vetrano, 30, was found in running trails in the Gateway National Recreation Center near her home.
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QUEENS —  Karina Vetrano — the jogger found slain in Spring Creek Park —  was most likely killed by someone who frequented the park, but suddenly stopped going nearly five months ago when he got hurt, the NYPD said Wednesday.

Investigators aren't any closer to finding a suspect so they released a profile of the type of person who they think could have killed Vetrano, 30, on Aug. 2 in a section of the Howard Beach park known as "The Weeds," they said.

The killer was likely one of the many fishermen, dirt bike riders, environmentalists, homeless people, outdoor enthusiasts or drug users who regularly spend time in the park and are well familiar with its paths, police said.

The suspect may have even lived in the park for months and become a familiar face to others who frequented the area, police said.

Investigators think people in the park may have spotted this familiar face after Aug. 2 looking disheveled and covered in cuts to his hands, arms, neck or face as if he'd been in a fight, police said.

"He may have given any of a variety of excuses for his appearance," investigators warned.

He might've even changed his appearance and pretended not to recognize people who know him, police said.

Investigators think he may have then started drinking heavier or taking more drugs, they said.

He might've either become fascinated by media reports about Vetrano's murder or tried to shield himself from them, investigators speculated.

Investigators want to speak to anyone who fits that profile, they said.

The profile is the result of a partnership with the FBI, which has advised the NYPD not only on who was likely to have killed Vetrano, but also the best way to approach the public, sources said.

— Murray Weiss contributed to this story.