Jogger Karina Vetrano Memorialized at Her Old Queens High School
A Queens woman murdered last August while out on a run was memorialized Saturday at her old high school. NY1's Shannan Ferry has the story.
Karina Vetrano is now a permanent fixture at her alma mater as a bench outside Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens now bears her name.
"She just touched so many people, and she's an angel," said Phil Vetrano, Karina's father.
The Howard Beach resident was sexually assaulted and murdered while out for a run in Spring Creek Park on August 2.
About six months later, police arrested Chanel Lewis of East New York and charged him with her murder.
The 30-year old Vetrano graduated from Molloy in 2004, and her father graduated from the school in 1974.
"There were so many facets of Karina," Phil Vetrano said in the school's halls. "You could see her writings — her writings are on the wall. She wrote poetry."
The bench dedication concluded a series of events at Molloy to honor and celebrate Vetrano.
Friday night, hundreds participated in an overnight walk and relay. Saturday, a mass and brunch were held in her memory.
"She was a magical person, a very, very one of a kind person, and somebody like that should never be forgotten," said Carissa Jordan, one of Karina's friends.
Organizers said they raised more than $60,000 at the event and that money will benefit a student scholarship fund in Vetrano's memory.
"Karina really, just her father, enjoyed her time here, and we think that that is the perfect way to continue her legacy," said Matt Rizzotti, an alumni development officer at the school.
Friends and family agreed, and said the fact that Vetrano is still being remembered in so many ways shows the impact she made.
"'She's everywhere. She's getting bigger and bigger," Phil Vetrano said. "I'm never gonna let it die."
And he has the entire school community behind him, determined to keep his daughter's memory alive.