It will take about a week to analyze DNA samples taken from a raving, naked man found late Tuesday in the Queens park where jogger Karina Vetrano was killed to see if he has any connection to the case, officials said Thursday.
Matthew Fox, 47, of Ozone Park, was taken into custody after a caller to 911 said she heard cries from Spring Creek Park, the recreation area adjacent to Howard Beach where Vetrano, an avid jogger, was found dead Aug. 2.
Fox was stuck in the mud, without clothes, when he blurted out “the father did it, I didn’t do it,” when questioned by police, officials said. Fox was apparently on drugs, police said, and was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for treatment. He was charged with public lewdness and disorderly conduct, and was awaiting arraignment late Thursday, police said.
Police said it was unclear what Fox was referring to when he made the remark about the father. Because of the intense investigation into Vetrano’s death, however, investigators requested and got his consent to give a DNA sample.
“We had to do our due diligence,” said one police official about the DNA testing.
NYPD chief of detectives Robert Boyce said Thursday that Fox at this point was not even a person of interest in the investigation into Vetrano’s killing.
“He is just a person we have talked to,” Boyce said.
Vetrano, 30, was found dead about 10:30 p.m. five hours after she had left her Howard Beach home for her usual jog through the park. An autopsy determined she had been strangled and police said she also had been sexually assaulted and beaten.
Three DNA samples were taken from Vetrano’s body and possessions but do not match with any known profiles in state and federal databases, according to police.