Suspect in Chilling Connecticut Death Overstayed Visa, Sources Say

Valerie Reyes, 24, of New Rochelle, was last seen on Jan. 29, Greenwich police said

What to Know

  • Police have arrested a person in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found bound in a suitcase in Connecticut
  • Valerie Reyes, 24, of New Rochelle, was last seen on Jan. 29, Greenwich police said Thursday
  • Her disappearance had been reported to the New Rochelle Police Department, according to police

The suspect in the chilling death of a young woman whose body was found bound in a suitcase on a street in an upscale Connecticut suburb was in the country illegally, according to law enforcement sources.

According to sources, Javier Da Silva, a citizen of Portugal, overstayed his visa waiver. He was supposed to be out of the country in 2017.

New details are being revealed in the gruesome death of a 24-year-old New York woman as her alleged killer faces a potential death penalty.

Valerie Reyes, of New Rochelle, was reported missing on Jan. 30, a day after she had last been seen. Her body was  found in a full-size suitcase off a road in Greenwich nearly a full week later. On Tuesday, officers arrested Da Silva, her ex-boyfriend, at his home in Flushing, Queens, after he used her ATM card, authorities said. He's thought to be the only suspect, investigators said.

A federal criminal complaint obtained Tuesday revealed disturbing details about how Reyes' body was found; she was barefoot, with an unbuttoned shirt and jeans and bound at the feet and knees inside the suitcase. Her hands were tied behind her back with what appeared to be white twine and packing tape. 

She had bruises on her face, including a large one on her forehead.

The complaint says Da Silva claimed in interviews with investigators that he and Reyes had sex in her apartment and at some point she fell and bumped her head. Then, he claimed, he put her body in a suitcase and brought it to Connecticut, then dumped it in the woods, the complaint says.

He denied killing her.

Police departments in New Rochelle and Greenwich helped make the arrest, along with the FBI, which was brought in because of the interstate nature of the case. Da Silva was charged Tuesday with one count of kidnapping resulting in death, which carries a sentence of death or life in prison. It's not clear if he has an attorney who could comment on the charge. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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