New York

St. Jude's Hospital, NY College to Receive Some of Funds Donated for Karina Vetrano Investigation

Karina Vetrano's beaten, strangled body was found Aug. 2 in a marshy park in Queens

What to Know

  • Karina Vetrano's beaten, strangled body was found Aug. 2 in a marshy park in Queens
  • Her family raised more than $290,000 on GoFundMe as they sought help in the six-month investigation
  • A 20-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested earlier this month on murder and other charges in her death

The father of the 30-year-old runner found beaten and strangled in a Queens marsh last summer announced which organizations will receive some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars supporters donated to the effort to find his daughter's killer over the course of the six-month investigation. 

Phil Vetrano has raised more than $290,000 on a GoFundMe page he created after the Aug. 2 death of his daughter Karina. After her alleged killer was apprehended earlier this month, he pledged to donate the funds. On Tuesday, he said $5,000 would go to St. Jude's Children's Hospital and $10,000 would go to Molloy College, a private liberal arts school on Long Island, to create a scholarship "for a deserving female."

Phil Vetrano said the family also would like to donate to a cat rescue group, and added the dissemination of the funds is an ongoing project.

"We are picking our choices very carefully and I want to speak personally to the administrators," Vetrano wrote on the GoFundMe page Tuesday. 

Karina Vetrano's death gripped the city with fear and mystery for nearly six months before 20-year-old Chanel Lewis, of Brooklyn, was taken into custody. He faces murder and other charges in the young woman's death.

Police have said DNA evidence linked Lewis to Vetrano's killing, and that he made detailed, incriminating statements to detectives. 

The Legal Aid Society, which is defending Lewis, has issued a blanket statement saying that he is "entitled to fairness and due process." The man's family has said he is innocent.

Lewis is due back in court in April. 

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