Suspect taken into custody for Karina Vetrano's murder

Lewis reportedly made "detailed incriminating statements and admissions" about the murder of Karina Vetrano, who went out for a run last August in Howard Beach and never returned, police said. Lewis was charged with second-degree murder, ABC 7 News reported.

"This is a great day for justice in New York City", Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Sunday at the 106th Precinct.

The source said the suspect was linked to the victim through DNA recovered from her body. When she didn't return home, her father went looking for her and discovered her body face down in the weeds of Spring Creek Park.

Vanessa Marcotte, 27, was found dead in bushes having been sexually assaulted, strangled and set on fire.

Chief of Detectives Boyce says it appeared the encounter that led to Vetrano's death was a chance one.

Boyce said police followed 250 leads from the public, and filed 1,700 investigative reports.

Police also say Lewis was issued several summonses near the crime scene. Previous efforts to identify a suspect from DNA had failed. "That's how we were able to bring the profile up and that's how we made the link".

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told a news conference he expected Lewis to be arraigned later in the day. Her father Phil usually ran with her, but stayed home with an injury the day she was killed.

They asked him for a DNA sample, which he gave voluntarily - thereby potentially sealing his own fate, sources said.

Investigators told WPIX that DNA evidence linking Lewis to the crime was found underneath Vetrano's fingernails, on her neck and on her cellphone.

Police said charges are pending.

In the end, it was a direct DNA match that led to an arrest. Her body was later found in a marshy area just off the trail at Gateway National Recreation Area.

Phil Vetrano didn't immediately respond to a phone message and text seeking comment Saturday night.

  • Audrey Hill