HOWARD BEACH, Queens – Murder suspect Chanel Lewis hasn’t been convicted in the killing of Karina Vetrano, but in the eyes of her father, he’s doomed for jail.
Two days after Lewis, 20, was caught, Philip Vetrano, a retired FDNY member, blasted his daughter’s accused killer on a GoFundMe page to reward tipsters.
“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.”
Lewis was charged with second-degree murder on Sunday after investigators say they linked him to samples of DNA that were collected in August. He voluntarily gave a mouth swab to police on Thursday after cops, working off an old tip, sought to question him at his East New York home. Lewis then allegedly made two videotaped confessions giving “specific” details of Vetrano’s Aug. 2 murder on Saturday, according to law enforcement sources.
The charity page had been set up in August to lure tips leading to the Howard Beach jogger’s killer. In six months, the family raised nearly $300,000.
Now that police have Lewis under arrest, with a court date expected later this month, Vetrano shifted the focus of the reward money to charities his daughter would support.
“Now we can use all this money that you very generous people have donated,” he wrote. “I mentioned in the beginning that we would use this money for charities that Karina would want. I would also like all of your input, you all donated and you should have a say.”
Vetrano’s emotional request also comes on the same day the suspect’s father spoke to PIX11 about his son.
As police investigate Lewis’ past, his mental state is being called into question.
Lewis graduated in 2016 from Martin De Porres High School, a school comprised of “children experiencing emotional and behavioral problems.” His father denies his son has any mental health issues and is “not capable” of such a heinous crime.