A GoFundMe page for slain Queens jogger Karina Vetrano had raised more than $210,000 by Thursday night, surpassing the $200,000 goal set forth to supplement the NYPD’s reward for information on her killing.
The page was started on Tuesday, the same day the department increased its reward to $20,000. It was set up by community members and Vetrano’s parents and had an original goal of $100,000. After donations started pouring in, however, and it was apparent that the page would reach its goal, organizers upped the total to $200,000.
“Howard Beach is a community not known for sitting back while other people work on our behalf,” according to the page. “Karina has become the 'daughter' of the entire community and we are committed to seeing justice served in her memory.”
Vetrano’s body was found facedown in a marshy area of Howard Beach hours after she went for a run near her family home Aug. 2. Her family called police when she didn’t come home or respond to calls or text messages.
On Monday, a town-hall style meeting was held in the neighborhood as the investigation continued. A DNA sample found on her body was not found to be a match to anyone in the system, according a police source.
“We need your help in bringing this vicious animal to face the most severe punishment allowable by law,” a statement on the GoFundMe page. “These funds are the only thing that we feel we can do to encourage anyone with information to come forward with something that will led to an arrest.
“It could happen to your daughter, your sister, your mother,” it continued.
Meanwhile, officials have mulled the use of satellite imagery of the Howard Beach area at the time Vetrano was slain as police continue to press their search for her killer, a law enforcement source said.
The NYPD already had the services of an FBI drone, which flew over the crime scene in the days immediately after Vetrano was killed.
Use of satellite imagery was something that has been discussed, the source said. It was unclear Thursday if any high altitude pictures exist showing the terrain and crime scene at the time of the attack.
U.S. Defense Department satellites can show objects down to a matter of a few inches, according to published reports. If a passing satellite took images on that day they might show Vetrano leaving her home, running or whether anyone else was in the area, the source said.