It was one of Karina Vetrano’s, and her father, Philip’s favorite things to do – go for a run along the wetlands at the end of Jamaica Bay. Karina’s run usually would start without her father, and then he would join her later on for the run back. Sadly, Philip had just injured his back and was not able to partake in their favorite activity on the day she went missing.
One Tuesday evening, Karina decided to go run by herself. Her father tried his best to stop her but after all Karina was 30 years old and he didn’t have very much control. Upon leaving Karina told Philip “It’s ok, Daddy, I’ll be all right.” With that, Karina left to go on her evening run.
She was texting back and forth with her friend while she was running, when she suddenly stopped. It was extremely abrupt, and very unlike Karina. Philip tried to call her cellphone, but there was no answer from her. Two hours would go by, and still Karina did not come back home.
Karina is found, next
This is when Philip started to panic. Karina was not a long distance runner so she should have been back by now. Just like any father would, Philip began to worry about her. As the night went on, Philip reached out to a neighbor for help who happened to be in their local Police Department.
Officers arrived right before 7 p.m., and this is when the search for Karina officially began. For several hours, police and Philip would start searching in the marshlands that are just mere blocks from her home.
While the police and Philip searched together, it would tragically be Philip who found his daughter. This was something no one could have prepared him for. Just 15 feet from a trail in the marsh, Karina’s body was found.
She appeared to be badly beaten. It seemed she may have been strangled and sexually assaulted. To make matters worse, some of Karina’s clothing was missing.
The area where Karina was jogging wasn’t on her normal route. It was a short cut she had decided to take. Many were surprised that Karina would jog there in the first place. The area was extremely remote.
Multiple homeless people lived in this area. That factor alone really shocked friends and family and they struggled with why Karina would run in this area, especially all by herself and in the evening too. It clearly was a place where screams would be drowned out of by the airplanes flying ahead.
One homeless man told authorities that upwards of a dozen homeless men lived and drank in that area. This homeless man went on to say that he himself would never venture back there for fear of being attacked. If a homeless man was terrified to be in this area, what made Karina feel safe enough to venture there all alone?
Police quickly determined that Karina’s attacker wasn’t one of the homeless men who spent time in the area. It was completely random. It was a mere chance of Karina being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Here’s what police discovered at the scene of the crime
Detectives have made it factually known though that Karina did not go down without a fight. As any of us would, if faced by an attacker – Karina fought for her life. Detectives believe that Karina had fought with every ounce she could muster due to the evidence they found.
Karina, crawled, bit, and attacked her attacker with everything in her. However, it would not be enough. When her body was discovered, she had bruises, scratches and cuts all over her. She was found laying face down.
Her fists still clutched at the reeds as she was dragged into the wetlands. As mentioned before, her clothing was in complete disarray and her underwear was pulled down.
Police discovered her shoes and earbuds that she frequently ran with nearby. However, they also discovered something else that did not belong to Karina, but her attacker. It was a used condom.
Chanel Lewis was being charged with the murder of Karina. He went to the marshlands, where Karina was running, because he alleged needed to “calm down”. His neighbors were playing loud music. While that might be true on that specific day – this was not Chanel’s first time loitering around the wetlands.
Allegedly he had been loitering around them for months. John Russo, a police lieutenant, explained that Chanel stood out to police. The 22 year old would wear thick clothing in the middle of the summer and frequently avoided police.
All of these things made him stand out to authorities, and pointed at him being the main suspect in Karina’s brutal murder. Additionally, the evidence mounted up and they could clearly tie him to the scene, as well as Karina’s body.
After gathering enough evidence police were able to arrest Chanel for the murder of Karina, however they were not able to prove the sexual assault on her. Shockingly, the trial for Karina’s murder has not been as seamless as one would assume.
Upon declaring Chanel the suspect in Karina’s murder, police conducted a thorough investigation into Chanel’s past. Back in 2007, Chanel had been arrested on charges of both murder and sexual assault. However, he was later released.
It had been a known fact that Chanel had a deep hatred for women and the police.
Still, during his 2007 case there was not enough evidence to fully convict him of the crime. Therefore, he was let back on the streets as a free man. This clearly was a mistake. The scary aspect of letting him back on the streets is that he was out to potentially act like this again.
Or potentially, Chanel would consider himself lucky and stop his egregious crimes. He clearly did not take the latter path. This time around with what he did to Karina, police felt confident they had the evidence to prove that Chanel was guilty.
The police had enough evidence to arrest Chanel
Forensic specialists were able to recover DNA of Chanel’s from beneath Karina’s fingernails. His DNA was also found on her neck and her cellphone as well. To top if all off, Chanel had injuries that were consistent with him having punched someone.
One would think that alone is enough evidence for a jury to find him guilty of killing Karina. How could his DNA be under her fingernails if he hadn’t attacked her?
After police picked him up they questioned him. What had he done to Karina? During his four-hour long interrogation Chanel gave even more proof that he had been the killer.
Police found Chanel at his mother’s home and asked for a cheek swab before officially arresting him. This was something he willingly complied with, and police were able to arrest him based on the matching DNA samples. Chanel admitted to murdering Karina once they interview him.
He told police that “I was beating her and was mad at her.” Chanel and Karina though, had no previous contact. He had never seen her before. He didn’t know her. This makes his reasoning for killing Karina even more frightening.
The trial begins, next
Once the trial for Karina’s murder began, many were certain that it would be resolved quickly. Her murdered would surely be locked up. That’s not how things went, even though there was DNA evidence that Chanel and Karina had contact with one another, moments before she was killed.
There was still doubt in the minds of the jury. Five men and seven women made up the jury in this trial. After two whole days and thirteen long hours, they simply could not reach a verdict.
“After deliberating for the entire day we are split,” the jury said to Judge Michael Aloise in a letter the New York Post got a copy of. “It doesn’t seem like we can make progress. We feel that we have exhausted all of our options.”
Here’s what was decided after those 13 long hours the jury spent trying to reach a decision
Shockingly, the jury remained hung. Although a mistrial was declared, the prosectors have promised to retry Chanel. Chanel is due back in court on January 22nd of 2019.
Many are let wondering, how or why is there a doubt in anyone minds that this man had in fact killed Karina? All of the evidence strongly pointed to him being her killer. In addition, there is video evidence of Chanel admitting to killing Karina. Yet, a decision about who killed Karina still has not been made.
Chanel’s attorney defended him by saying “people’s DNA can end up in places that they’ve never been.” However, Chanel had been wandering that park for months and people knew about it.
Nearly two years after her death, Karina’s killer still has not been fully convicted of the crime. Chanel’s attorney announced that she has “serious doubts” about her client’s guilt in this matter. As for Karina’s family, they have had to sit in court and listen to detailed stories about how their daughter was murdered.
Dad & Daughter Team Up to Murder Mom In Her Own Home, So Dad Doesn’t Have To Pay Child Support
New Jersey State Police Department
Lloyd and Michele Neurauter were raising their daughters in Corning, New York. The couple had divorced. Even still, they were both very involved in their girls’ lives. Their one daughter Karrie and Lloyd had a special bond.
As we know by now, every family dynamic is different. Some girls are closer with their mom, and others are closer with their father. For Karrie, it was her dad that she would always listen to. She looked up to him and always wanted his approval.
Michele and Lloyd were in the middle of a horrible custody battle over their youngest daughter, and Karrie was their middle child. Lloyd wanted custody of his youngest. Michele was not going to give up without a fight.
What Lloyd wanted was custody of his youngest daughter, and to be freed of having to pay child support. However, in the state of New York it doesn’t just work that way. Child support is a real thing.
Karrie had been away at school for most of the custody battle. The 20 year old was attending Rochester Institute of Technology. She was working towards her degree in computer engineering technology. She was happy there.
However, she was looking forward to the semester ending. She liked being able to go home for the summer. Despite what was going on between her parents, Karrie’s happy place was home in Corning.
Michele and Lloyd were anything but happily married. In the beginning the couple seemed perfect for one another. From the outside looking in, neighbors saw a happy family with three heathy daughters. Picture perfect, right?
Their oldest daughter had moved out, and was starting her life. Their youngest was still at home but was excelling in school and couldn’t be more loved and adored by her parents. Then there was Karrie, who was in college.
Yet, something was not right with Lloyd and Michele. Apparently, unbeknownst to neighbors, the couple had a bad history of domestic violence. Kind of interesting their neighbors had no idea about this dark family secret. You would think they would overhear something to indicate this.
The domestic violence would soon lead to Lloyd doing something completely unimaginable. His actions were truly shocking. However, there is more to the case that make his actions even worse.
Lloyd had involved his daughter, Karrie, in his plan. Since he and Karrie were so close he knew that she would of course do anything for him. Karrie, as Lloyd expected when he approached her with the task, agreed wholeheartedly.
This soon would turn into the most tragic ending a domestic violence case could have. The town of Corning would be forever changed from this. So would the Neurauter family. Karrie’s life as well would never be the same.
Karrie had finished up her semester at RIT. She was heading home to her favorite place for the summer. She would spend the days with her mother, younger sister, and friends. In addition, Karrie and Lloyd would have the father-daughter time she had longed for while being at school.
One day though, in mid-August, Karrie’s father would ask her one of the most difficult questions of her life. In fact, one can barely classify this as a question. What it was, was an ultimatum.
Lloyd would approach Karrie with a topic no father should ever talk to his child about. It just isn’t something that should ever cross a father’s mind. It should not cross anyone’s mind to do this to someone.
Corning Police Department
In this ultimatum, Lloyd would tell Karrie that she could either “assist him with killing her mother, to free him from the financial burden of child support and alimony and give him custody of his youngest child – or he would kill himself.”
Karrie was faced with an impossible ultimatum. It’s a wonder though, that she didn’t reach out to authorities when her father even presented her with these questions. Arguably, it can be seen as a testament to Karrie’s loyalty to her father.
Her decision though left many people shocked. Of course, it was obvious she was close with her father. There was no indication she’d ever harm her mother. It seemed they got along well too.
However, Karrie agreed to help her father with this task. She would do it. It almost seemed as if Lloyd had taken advantage of his daughter’s love for him in asking her to do this.
Nevertheless though, Karrie ultimately made the decision to help her father kill her mother. While Lloyd did not expect Karrie to actually execute the murder, he surely got her heavily involved with it.
In essence, he had made his 20 year old daughter an accomplice in the murder of her mother.
On the day of the killing, Karrie drove Lloyd to her mother’s home. At the time, only Michele and the couple’s youngest daughter were home. Lloyd and Karrie entered, and no one suspected anything was wrong.
Lloyd instructed Karrie to distract her younger sister while he went upstairs to find Michele. Upon finding her, Lloyd proceeded to strangle Michele to death. Then in an effort to cover up the murder, Lloyd had Karrie come upstairs and stage a suicide.
Together, the two made it appear as though Michele had killed herself. They disconnected electronic devices within the home in order to hide Lloyd’s presence. However, once authorities arrested both Lloyd and Karrie, the truth came out. It always does.
Lloyd had told Karrie to cry during questioning to make the whole thing more believable. He and Karrie also both told authorities a fake story. They both tried to cover up the murder. They both tried to cover up what they did.
While in court, Karrie told authorities that she helped her father murder her mother. She did this in exchange for a plea deal. In addition, Karrie had to testify against her father during his trial. She did.
Karrie has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. Lloyd has been charged with a multitude of felonies, including first degree murder. He will be in prison for life.
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