Slain Jogger To Father: 'It's OK Daddy, I'll Be Alright'

| by Michael Howard
Karina Vetrano was buried Aug. 6Karina Vetrano was buried Aug. 6

The father of Karina Vetrano, who was brutally killed Aug. 2 while jogging on a remote trail in Queens, New York, has revealed the last words his daughter spoke to him.

Phil Vetrano and his wife, Cathy, sat down with WPIX for an exclusive interview, in which they expressed grief and anger over their 30-year-old daughter's murder.

"I said, 'I don't think it's a good idea that you go in there,'" Phil recalled telling his daughter before she left the house. "And she said, 'It's OK daddy, I'll be alright.'"

Those were Karina's last words to her father, who used to accompany her on runs but couldn't on this particular evening due to a back injury.

Phil said he could sense something was wrong when his daughter didn't return home on time.

"I got a feeling, it came over me," he told WPIX. "She was talking to me then. And I got off that couch and I went looking for her."

He called the police, who immediately began searching the area. They were able to track down Karina's cell phone, and shortly after, her body was discovered in the weeds -- by her own father.

"We're still in a state of shock," Cathy said.

"Needless to say, to think of her last moments are indescribable," Phil said.

When asked about peace and closure, the Vetranos said they may never get there.

"Peace? Peace to me, closure to me, is going to come the day I see Karina," Phil said. "That's when peace will come. Up until that point, you talk about anger and rage."

"I am a very forgiving person," Cathy said. "I believe in the Lord. I believe in beautiful things. And I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever forgive."

There are a number of conspiracy theories floating around about Karina's death, but Phil and Cathy aren't paying attention to them. They are convinced it was a random attack by someone who used the desolate path as a hunting ground.

"I have not been listening to rumors," Cathy said. "Whatever slight things that I've heard have been ... a place that I can't even go to."

Phil said that no matter where a person is, there will always be predators looking for an opportunity.

"You could have the happiest place in the world, and you have scum," he said. "That's the problem."

Despite the pain, the Vetranos are determined to keep moving forward.

"We made it through a lot of things," Cathy said. "And we're going to make it through this."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help bring Karina's killer to justice and has already raised over $180,000.

"We need your help in bringing this vicious animal to face the most severe punishment allowable by law," the page reads. "Every dollar from you will help to bring her family and our community one step closer to the only thing that can help now and that is an arrest and conviction."

Investigators managed to recover DNA from the crime scene, but have not been able to match it with any person known to law enforcement, according to Newsday.

Sources: WPIX, Phil Vetrano/GoFundMe, Newsday / Photo credit: Curtis Means via Daily Mail

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