NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The family of Karina Vetrano held a memorial walk Wednesday night to mark the one-year anniversary of her murder.
The walk was held in Howard Beach, Queens.
Every day for the past year, her father, Phil Vetrano, walks a path through weeds six-feet tall to the spot where his daughter was murdered in Spring Creek Park.
“You don’t realize how peaceful it is there and, for some reason unbeknownst to me, it gives me comfort,” he told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
Vetrano has built a memorial at the site, surrounded by tall sunflowers.
“That cross was left, the angel, flowers are left, that butterfly over there,” he described. “It was all left by people that come in here.”
Friends, family members, and even strangers were in Howard Beach Wednesday for the memorial service and walk, 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr reported.
“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for every little thing, every prayer, and the support that you’ve given us,” Kathy Vetrano said.
Police said the 30-year-old speech pathologist was attacked and killed as she jogged in Spring Creek Park. Later that night, Phil Vetrano found her body in a marsh not far from their Howard Beach home.
He said the pain is as great today as it was on that hot sticky August day one year ago.
“It’s total grief, total sadness and total loss,” he said. “It’s a horror.”
Charged in the attack is 20-year-old Chanel Lewis. He’s due back in court next month.