HOWARD BEACH, Queens — A week after Karina Vetrano went for a run in a marshy area of Queens, never to return home, a restless and tight-knit community is searching for ways to help and cope.
Howard Beach resident Judy Hintze put out a call on Facebook in search of food donations for crews searching Spring Creek Park for clues in Vetrano’s death. She said the response has been overwhelming.
“We were thankful for everything they’ve done for us and this is the way to show our appreciation. What else could we do for them?” Hintze told PIX11 News.
A steady stream of food was delivered Monday, including from Sapienza Deli, where the victim’s father was a regular customer.
Phil and Cathie Vetrano made their first public appearance Sunday, speaking directly to the killer who cut their daughter’s life short at the age of 30.
Cathie Vetrano called her daughter a “force to be reckoned with.”
“Soon we’re gonna have a face to the d**kless piece of garbage that you are,” she said, addressing whoever attacked her daughter.
A community meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at St. Hellen’s Church in Howard Beach, where police and elected officials are hoping to quell residents’ fears as the search continues for the killer. Concerns about the high weeds at Spring Creek Park – some as tall as 15 feet – are expected to a topic of conversation.
In the meantime, investigators are waiting for DNA results from a shoe and earbuds found in the marshland.
A combined $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.
Clarification: Mother Cathie Vetrano’s name was initially spelled incorrectly, due to an error on a GoFundMe page. It has since been fixed.