Police have made a long-awaited arrest over the killing of Queens jogger Karina Vetrano.

Twenty-year-old Chanel Lewis, from east New York, will be charged with murder and sexual assault, based on DNA testing and "detailed incriminating statements and admissions" he made to detectives.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Lewis, who has no prior arrest record, was taken into custody on Saturday night. Formal charges and an arraignment are pending.

READ MORE:
A woman is killed while running at night, and now people are blaming the victim
Parents of slain jogger Karina Vetrano offer killer reward money
New video shows slain US jogger Karina Vetrano moments before her body was found

Advertisement

Lewis was interviewed by police on Thursday after being identified as a potential suspect. He voluntarily provided a DNA sample, which was then matched with DNA recovered from under Vetrano's fingernails, her back and mobile phone, Boyce said.

On Saturday, Lewis reportedly confessed to "each step of the assault".

It's believed detectives targeted Lewis after examining "stop and frisk" reports from neighbourhoods near the scene of Vetrano's killing. They also reviewed a 911 call made from the area by someone who said he was acting suspiciously.

Sources told The New York Post the man is in his 20s and had been on the police radar for a while, after an off-duty officer saw him acting suspiciously. He had been questioned previously, and last week had agreed to a DNA sample.

A close friend of Vetrano's told the New York Daily News: "I'm literally shaking right now," upon hearing the news.

"I want to see his face. I want to see if I know him."

Vetrano, 30, never returned home from jogging in Spring Creek Park on August 2 of last year. Her family members reported her missing and the search began.

Her father found her body about 14 blocks away from her home at 9pm, four hours after she left for the jog. The medical examiner's office ruled her death a homicide, saying she was beaten, raped and strangled.

Police recovered Vetrano's killer's DNA from her body, but the sample did not match anyone in the New York and national DNA databases of convicted criminals.

Her parents spoke out last week, trying to renew momentum in their daughter's case six months after her body was found, and renewing their calls for police to approve the use of familial DNA to track down her killer.

Familial DNA testing would allow investigators to find a partial match - possibly a relative of the killer.

The circumstances behind the suspect's capture have not been disclosed.

Late last year, Vetrano's father, who usually ran the trail with his daughter, but on the night she disappeared did not because he was injured, spoke of the "bad feeling" he had on the day when his daughter was found dead.

"She asked me to go for a run and I said I couldn't go," Mr Vetrano told The Dr Oz Show.

"And about 25 minutes later I got a bad feeling. I knew something was wrong. Like something was wrong."