Police have arrested a man in New York who they said admitted to having a role in the death of a woman who was found bound in a suitcase on an affluent road in Greenwich last week.
Police arrested Javier Da Silva, of Queens, New York, who police said is accused of using the ATM card that belonged to Valerie Reyes, a 24-year-old New Rochelle, New York woman whose body was found last Tuesday along Glenville Road. Greenwich police did not have details on what Da Silva has been charged with.
NBC New York, citing the complaint against Da Silva, says he claimed he and Reyes had sex in her apartment and she fell at some point and bumped her head. Then, he claimed, he put her body in a suitcase, brought it to Connecticut and dumped it in the woods.
Greenwich police held a news conference on Tuesday afternoon about the investigation, which included the use of Reyes’ ATM card and transactions they suspect happened after her death.
“There’s been an intense focus on the use of Valerie’s ATM card after which we believe she was murdered,” Captain Robert Berry, of the Greenwich Police Department, said during the news conference Tuesday afternoon.
That part of the investigation led police to a suspect in the fraudulent use of Reyes’ ATM card and they arrested DaSilva Monday night in Queens.
“This same suspect was interviewed jointly by Greenwich and New Rochelle detectives and admitted a role in the death of Valerie Reyes,” Berry said.
Police previously said a large sum of money was withdrawn from a bank near Radio City and another large amount was withdrawn a few days later.
The arrest of Da Silva comes after police examined several crime scenes and hundreds of hours of surveillance footage and interviewed several potential witnesses, police said. They also analyzed social media footprints and records.
“We’re hopeful and confident that the pursuit of justice for Valerie will be successful and hope this investigation provides some level of closure to the Reyes family,” Berry said.
No additional arrests have been made and police said the investigation is not over yet.
Norma Sanchez, Reyes' mother, said her daughter was a vibrant, friendly person who struggled with mental illness, including anxiety and depression. Just days ago, Val told her mom she was panicking, fearful someone was going to hurt her and went to the city. This had happened before and Val’s family was hopeful she was seeking psychological help.
“Val was pretty much looking for help. To help herself. Valerie, it would have been an easy way out for her to just do something to harm herself but she was strong enough to just leave and seek help in the city. We were hoping. We were hoping she was seeking therapy," Sanchez said.
Sanchez said that her daughter took bed sheets and towels from her New Rochelle apartment and went into the city. Her family believes she probably used the linens to stay at a hotel.
Sanchez said her daughter adored her family and did not have a history of running away and getting in trouble.
"A loving family that’s what I want people to understand. We are not a troubled family," Sanchez said.
A Greenwich Department of Public Works employee has been placed on leave after photos were taken of a murder victim found in Greenwich, according to a statement from the office of the First Selectman.
Police continue to investigate. Information may be left at the Greenwich Police Tip Line at (203) 622-3333 and email at Tips@greenwichct.org.