NYPD releases possible profile on runner's killer

- The NYPD has released a possible profile of the person who may be responsible for the murder of a woman who was killed as she went for a run in her Howard Beach, Queens neighborhood.

Karina Vetrano was attacked and killed in Spring Creek Park on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. 

The killer is still at large and the community is urged to recognize the possible characteristics of the killer. Earlier, the NYPD release a sketch of a man who turned out to not be a suspect but may have seen something. "This unidentified individual may have witnessed something and not realized its importance at the time," the NYPD said.

1. The person who committed the assault is likely familiar with the park and he may have spent time there for any of a variety of reasons. The park is routinely used by fisherman, dirt bike riders, environmentalists, and other outdoor enthusiasts.  Certain areas within the park serve as a gathering place for homeless and recreational drug and alcohol users.

2. He may have been frequenting or even living in the park for days, weeks, or months prior to the assault and was likely a familiar face to others who use the park on a regular basis.

3. Following the assault on Karina, he likely stopped visiting or living in the park abruptly.  He may have moved his recreational activities or residence to another area of the borough or city.  He may have provided a seemingly reasonable excuse for this change in behavior to others.  He may have even suggested his avoidance of the park was due to the danger there.

4. In the hours following the assault on Karina, anyone encountering him may have observed him to be disheveled in appearance with possible scratches or cuts to his hands, arms, neck, or face.  It could have appeared that he was in some type of fight or accident.  He may have given any of a variety of excuses for his appearance.

5. Following the assault of Karina, he may have noticeably changed his level of alcohol, drug, or tobacco use.  He may have paid careful attention to media reporting on the assault of Karina.   He may have taken steps to limit his exposure to media reporting.  He may have changed his appearance.  In any case, his change in behavior may have been noticed by someone close to him, and may have been casually dismissed with or without explanation from him.  

Members of the community are urged to come forward with any information they have, including if they believe they have encountered or know this person.  Please contact the New York City Police Department to report information you may have.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story included a sketch of a man, but police say he is not a suspect; instead he is someone who may have witnessed something significant the night of the murder.

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