New York state officials should immediately authorize the use of a new investigative tool that would allow city investigators to widen their searches in unsolved cases, Queens DA Richard Brown announced Thursday.
Citing the sex-assault murder of jogger Karina Vetrano, Brown said he wants to implement “familial searching” through DNA which could potentially identify a relative of a suspect.
“The victim, her family, and the public deserve justice and we have an obligation to use every means at our disposal to identify the murderer. I believe that familial searching can be a powerful investigative tool in this case,” Brown said in a press release.
The 30-year-old raven-haired beauty was out for a jog last August when she was savagely attacked by a ruthless killer in a remote wooded area of Howard Beach, where she often went to exercise.
The assailant brutally beat Vetrano and ripped off her clothes.
He finished the attack by sexually assaulting and strangling her.
Queens homicide detectives found the perpetrator’s DNA under Vetrano’s fingernails, on her neck and on her cellphone.
They subsequently produced a DNA profile of a single male and uploaded it to CODIS a national DNA databank that tracks criminally charged offenders.
But no match was found.
Brown said he wants investigators to be able to retest DNA profiles where no initial match exists in CODIS.
Detectives would single out the male “Y” chromosome in the profiles to see if they can get a biological match to a family whose profiles are already in CODIS.
If they get a hit, they would then question the family members in connection with their case.
Vetrano’s father, Phil, has been an advocate for the program since his daughter’s death.