The investigation since Vetrano's body was found yards away from her Howard Beach, New York, home has been filled with twists and turns over more than two years.
Six months passed after Vetrano was found dead before Chanel Lewis was announced as the prime suspect after he volunteered a DNA swab to authorities. Before Lewis' was walked out of the 107th Precinct in February 2017, NYPD detectives had put out a sketch of a potential witness, Vetrano’s family put up thousands of dollars in reward money and prosecutors requested help to expand the investigation.
Here’s a look at key moments in the case:
Aug. 2, 2016: Karina Vetrano went missing during an evening jog in Spring Creek Park — a few blocks away from her home — the first time she had gone jogging without her father, Phil Vetrano. During a search, the body of Karina Vetrano was found the same day she went missing by her father, "laying on her back" in a meadow of unkempt weeds, according to Phil Vetrano's trial testimony.
Aug. 7, 2016: Five days later, Vanessa Teresa Marcotte, 27, was found murdered in Princeton, Massachusetts, after going out for a jog. Both of the joggers' murders were initially believed to be linked by authorities, and gained national attention.
Aug. 31, 2016: The NYPD released a sketch of a man police said was a possible witness in the murder of Karina Vetrano.
Dec. 9, 2016: As the case was getting cold, Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown requested for the state to authorize the use of familial DNA. The DNA profile from the crime scene would run through a state data bank to see if links could be found to similar profiles belonging to a relative. The process uses special DNA testing on the Y chromosome, Brown said in a letter that ABC News reported at the time, referring to the chromosome found in males only.
January 2017: Lt. John Russo, one of the lead detectives in Karina Vetrano's case, remembered calling the police on a man wandering near his own Howard Beach home on May 30 and May 31, 2016. Russo testified that he tracked down the police officers who answered his 911 call to see if they retained their notes from the May 2016 stop-and-frisk. The responding officer's notes read that Chanel Lewis was the unknown person in Russo’s neighborhood and asked for a DNA swab from Lewis.
Feb. 2, 2017: Lewis, then 20, volunteered to give a sample of his DNA. Lewis' DNA, according to trial testimony, matched DNA found under Karina Vetrano's nails and on her cell phone.
Feb. 4, 2017: Lewis was brought into the 107th Precinct for questioning, according to trial testimony. Hours later, Lewis gave a confession that was recorded at the precinct in front of a prosecutor. Lewis was charged with murder and sexual abuse, among other things.
Nov. 20, 2018: After 13 hours of deliberations, the jury alerted the judge that they were deadlocked and the judge declared a mistrial. The prosecutors announced they would retry the case.
March 17, 2019: Opening statements on the retrial begin.
March 28, 2019: Both the defense and prosecutors rested their cases. That night an anonymous letter was sent to the defense team alerting them that prosecutors allegedly withheld potentially exculpatory material, according to a Legal Aid Society spokesman.
April 1, 2019: Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise denied all of the defense's motion to conduct a hearing about the allegations in the anonymous letter. The judge also denied the defense's request for a mistrial and ordered the closing arguments to commence. Around 4 p.m., the jurors began deliberating and around 9 p.m. they reached guilty verdicts on all four charges. Sentencing is expected on April 17 where Lewis faces the maximum penalty of life without the possibility of parole, according to New York state's criminal law for first-degree murder.
April 17, 2019: Lewis' attorneys filed a motion requesting an evidentiary hearing related to allegations of juror misconduct. Justice Aloise postponed the sentencing to hold the hearings on April 22.