Experts: DNA a strong link in Queens jogger slaying
Experts say the DNA test implicating an East New York man in connection with the brutal slaying of a Queens jogger over the summer is powerful evidence.
Chanel Lewis, 20, is accused of killing Karina Vetrano, 30, as she jogged alone in Spring Creek Park on the evening of Aug. 2.
Lewis gave police a DNA sample, and investigators say it matched evidence found at the crime scene and on the victim's body.
"She had the DNA under her nails," says NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. "She had DNA on her back, and there was more DNA on the cellphone. So three instances -- that's how we are able to bring this profile up, and that's how we made the link."
DNA expert Nathan Lents says the chance that Lewis's DNA appeared in all three places without direct contact would be very rare.
"If it's a stranger's DNA on a murder victim, they have a lot more to answer for, particularly when you find DNA under the fingernails," Lents says.
Earlier this month, Vetrano's parents had issued a public plea, asking the state to allow a so-called familial DNA test to try and find a suspect. Such a test would compare samples to people whose DNA is already stored in the criminal system in a bid to find a close match and possible links to the suspect. Police say that ultimately, they did not need to do that to find Lewis.