The funeral for slain jogger Karina Vetrano was set for a Howard Beach church just a few blocks from the remote stretch of parkland where she was killed.
The Saturday funeral at noon will be held at St. Helen’s Church following a six-hour Friday wake at an Ozone Park funeral home. The viewing for the 30-year-old victim begins at 3 p.m.
Vetrano whois an avid runner, left her home around 5 p.m. Tuesday for a jog in the Spring Creek federal parkland.
Police said she usually went with her father, but this time, an injury kept him home. He got concerned when she didn’t answer his calls.
“At some point after that, her father began to get worried, where she was, she didn’t return home,” Boyce said Wednesday. “He called a member of the service, a police chief who lives nearby, who then called 911.”
Vetrano’s father helped police search Tuesday night and pings from her cellphone led them to a marshy area about 15 feet away from the running path.
“The father then went into the woods and then found the body with our detectives right after him,” Boyce said. “We found her face down in the ground.”
Police said Vetrano was strangled to death and possibly sexually assaulted. She was face down with her teeth broken, scrapes on her legs and her sports bra and shorts pulled down, sources said.
Police sources also said one of her hands was clutching grass, indicating she may have been dragged. Police said she was found 15 feet off the path.
“This woman put up a ferocious fight right to the end,”
Police sealed off the block around the Vetrano family home with crime scene tape Friday morning to take pictures with a camera set up in the middle of the street.
There has been not update on progress of the investigation.
She said Vetrano, whose two passions were writing and running, had surgery on her legs when she was young and was told she might never run again.
“But she ran and she ran well,” she said. “She did it every day. This monster took that away from her, what she loved most.”
Hartstein said Vetrano had struggled to move past a recent rocky relationship.
“She used to feel like she wasn’t loved,” she said. “But you look around and you can see so many people, that she didn’t even know came out.”
Karina Vetrano, who earned a master’s degree last year at St. John’s University, left the house in Queens after her dad passed on their usual run.
“He asked her not to run this particular path, not without him,” said Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
Her fatther,Philip Vetrano was a retired firefighter who spent 14 years with the FDNY before becoming a contractor. A photo on his Facebook page shows he was part of the cleanup at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 attacks.
“I’m so blessed to have a father I can call my best friend,” she posted to Instagram recently, celebrating her father as a “hero” on his 60th birthday.
Karina Vetrano’s mother is battling cancer, neighbors said.
The manhunt continued for the killer in Tuesday’s brutal rape and murder as Vetrano went for her nightly 40-minute job through Spring Creek Park in the Queens neighborhood.
Cops were also back for a third day searching for clues at a crime scene obscured by towering 10-foot weeds. Investigators in Tyvek suits were shuttled in and out Friday via police all-terrain vehicles.
A $10,000 reward was posted a day earlier for information leading to an arrest in the killing. Police said they believe the assailant was a stranger who ambushed Vetrano.
Her body was discovered about six hours after she left for her run along the unpaved path. Her father made the grisly find as he led police along the route where he usually ran with his daughter.
Cops said the athletic Vetrano fought furiously against her attacker, who dragged her about 15 feet into the high weeds. One of the victim’s sneakers came off during the struggle.