Karina Vetrano's family looks for ideas for donating GoFundMe money

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
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Dianna Rocco has the latest.

HOWARD BEACH, Queens (WABC) -- The family of the 30-year-old woman who was murdered while running in Howard Beach this summer is asking for input on what to do with the $288,606 raised by a GoFundMe page.

"You all donated and you should have a say," Phil Vetrano, the father of Karina Vetrano, wrote on the page.

Suggestions include contributions to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the ASPCA, or a scholarship to Archbishop Molloy High School, her alma mater.

Wherever it goes, the family writes on the page that "we will make this world a better place" with the donations.

Over the weekend, a man was charged in Vetrano's strangulation.

Police arrested Chanel Lewis Saturday, saying evidence included genetic material found under victim Vetrano's fingernails, and on her phone and neck.

RELATED: NYPD says Karina Vetrano's fight led to suspected killer

Police officials also said Lewis made detailed, incriminating statements to detectives. Lewis' family insists he is innocent.

Legal Aid Society Chief Defender Tina Luongo urged the public "not to rush to immediate judgment," and said in a statement that Chanel Lewis is "entitled to fairness and due process."

Legal Aid has a full team working on the case, including its DNA unit.

Vetrano was attacked on Aug. 2. Her father found her badly beaten body in a secluded marsh.

Click here for more coverage of Karina Vetrano's murder.