Dad of Murdered Jogger Appeals to Lawmakers to Adopt Divisive DNA-Match Technique to Find Her Killer
Karina Vetrano’s distraught dad wants to find his daughter’s killer using the controversial DNA method that helped police solve the mystery of who killed Righteous Brothers singer Bill Medley's ex-wife.
Phil Vetrano’s daughter was murdered as she jogged in Queens, New York, six months ago and the police investigation is at a dead end.
Vetrano wants officials to use the technique known as familial DNA to solve the mystery.
“This is not voodoo. This is an exact science. There is no reason not to do this,” he told Inside Edition.
Familial DNA has been used to track who killed the “Unchained Melody” singer’s first wife. The process matches the DNA of a suspect to other family members such as a father, son, or even a cousin.
In 1976, Bill Medley's life was turned upside down when his ex-wife Karen Klaas was viciously attacked.
A suspicious stranger was seen in the Hermosa Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles where Klaas lived.
Her neighbors tried to warn her, but it was too late. When they came to the house on January 30, they discovered she had been attacked and raped.
Two witnesses saw the killer fleeing the house and described the man as “shaggy-haired” and bearded.
Klaas was taken to a nearby hospital and remained comatose for five days before eventually passing away.
Over the years, it became a cold case until this past weekend when investigators announced they now believe they know who did it, using the familial DNA method, which has been viewed as controversial.
California was the first state in America to adopt familial DNA testing in 2008. The state uses it as a last resort when all other points of interested and leads have been exhausted.
The state has used the method to solve seven cases since it was introduced.
Eight other states like Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Michigan, Texas, Wyoming, Utah, Florida, have various protocol to use familial DNA. It is not available in New York, where Vetrano was murdered, due to privacy concerns.
Some say that familial DNA raises questions about discretion and fourth amendment rights. Other critics of the process say that partial DNA matches could lead to innocent people becoming victimized by the law.