While the search for Karina Vetrano’s killer continues, investigators have not ruled out a possible link to the death of a 27-year-old jogger found dead in Massachusetts less than a week later.
“We haven’t ruled anything out. We’re going to continue to investigate this case and follow the leads where they take us,” NYPD spokesman Peter Donald told The Post about whether the two murders are connected to one another.
Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. echoed his comments. “We understand there are similarities,” he said at a press conference on Aug. 9.
“We’re approaching this from every angle. We’re fairly early in this investigation,” he added.
Vanessa Marcotte, a 27-year-old employee at Google, was reported missing by her family after she failed to return from a 1 p.m. jog on Sunday in Princeton, Mass..
Her naked body was found by a police K-9 unit about a half-mile away from her mother’s home in a wooded area at around 8:20 p.m. Investigators believe she was killed between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Marcotte, of New York City, was home visiting her family.
Less than a week earlier, Karina Vetrano left her Queens home at 5 p.m. on Aug. 2 for a routine jog. Her father—and habitual running partner—Phillip Vetrano notified authorities when his daughter failed to return home and stopped answering phone calls. The retired NYC firefighter led investigators down the path the pair frequented.
The father discovered his badly beaten daughter’s body in a marshy area about 15 feet away from a bike path. Police reported that the 30-year-old victim had scratches all over her body and was clutching grass—indicating that she was dragged.
An autopsy determined that Karina was strangled and sexually assaulted.
A reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of Vetrano’s killer was announced by Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce during an NYPD crime statistics briefing on Aug. 4.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by her father, with the hopes of raising thousands of dollars to catch the killer. The page initially had a goal of $100,000 and has since been raised to $200,000 after surpassing the first goal in less than 24 hours.
“We need your help in bringing this vicious animal to face the most sever punishment allowable by law,” he wrote. “Every dollar from you will help to bring her family and our community one step closer to the only thing that can help now and that is an arrest and conviction.”
The page has raised $124,483 as of Aug. 10.
Both homicides—separated by 200 miles—bears similarities given that both women were young brunettes, jogging alone, and killed in broad daylight.