Suspect in Murder of Queens Jogger Appears in Court

February 7, 2017 9:19 am Last Updated: February 7, 2017 9:38 am

The suspect in the murder of New York City jogger Karina Vetrano, who was found dead last year, appeared in court on Monday.

The family of Vetrano, upon seeing suspect 20-year-old Chanel Lewis, was emotional, with her mother Cathy Vetrano yelling: “He’s a demon! A demon!”

“Savage murderer! He murdered my daughter—my beautiful, innocent daughter!” she yelled, CBS News reported.

In a GoFundMe page, her father, Philip Vetrano, who was the first person to discover Karina’s body after a lengthy search, blasted the suspect.

“As you all know by now we have caught this piece of [expletive],” Vetrano wrote. “He is a loner looser [sic]. He will pay for his crime.”

Her body was found in an overgrown area near a trail in Queens. The case prompted fear among women who run alone, and it baffled investigators, who were later forced to use DNA testing to match the probable suspect’s DNA.

“Karina helped us identify this person,” New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. “She had the DNA under her nails. She had touch DNA on her back and there was more DNA on her cellphone. So three incidents. That’s how we were able to bring this profile up. And that’s how we made the link.”

The victim’s father, Phil Verano told reporters, “I’m not gonna say it’s a good day, but we can move forward now.”