Howard Beach jogger may have been strangled

A 30-year-old woman from Queens who was an avid runner, particularly around the running paths near Gateway National Recreation Area, was found dead late Tuesday night.

Karina Vetrano's father reported her missing to police at about 7 p.m. when she hadn't returned home from her run about two hours earlier.

Her body was found, face down, at about 9 p.m., 15 feet from the running trail in Spring Creek Park. Her cell phone was discovered in the brush, according to the NYPD.

There were no obvious signs of trauma, but Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters at the scene Wednesday morning that Vetrano may have been sexually assaulted.

"There is evidence of strangulation," said Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce during a news conference later in morning.

The city's medical examiner's office is working to determine the cause of death.

Vetrano's cell phone is part of the investigation.

Chief Boyce added that Vetrano was texting a friend as she was running and before her death. He added that detectives were examining security camera video for signs of a suspect.