One year ago, Vetrano was found murdered in Spring Creek Park after leaving her home to go jogging. After a lengthy investigation, police finally arrested Chanel Lewis, a teenager from Brooklyn, and charged him with strangling and sexually abusing Vetrano.
“For me, a year went so quick, but I could just imagine how long it felt for the Vetrano family,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who was among the dozens participating in the walk along the boundaries of the park where Vetrano lost her life.
“To see this kind of love and affection for the Vetrano family, I’m not surprised,” he added, praising the tight-knit Howard Beach community.
In the year since their daughter's death, the Vetrano family has become strong advocates for familial DNA searching, a new law enforcement guideline adopted earlier this year, and pushed to have new security cameras installed around Spring Creek Park.
“Phil Vetrano does it in Karina’s name, but he’s also doing it for future victims and we appreciate that,” Addabbo said.
The walk ended with a prayer at St. Helen's Church. Cathie Vetrano delivered a tearful thank you to everyone who joined them at the walk and supported them over the past year.
"To our family and our friends and all of the people who we don't even know, you have kept us standing,” she said.