A man in the U.S. illegally has confessed to murdering a New York woman whose body was found in a suitcase along a stretch of highway in Connecticut last month.
For weeks detectives pored over a deluge of clues which ultimately led them on Monday night to the Queens residence of Javier DaSilva, a Venezuelan national who was a former boyfriend of 24-year-old victim Valerie Reyes.
According to police, DaSilva “admitted a role” in the murder of Reyes.
A federal complaint states he “bound her feet and hands, placed packing tape over her mouth, put her in a suitcase and transported her to Greenwich, Connecticut, where he disposed of her body, resulting in the death of the victim,” reports the Westchester Journal News.
“There were obvious signs of head trauma, including bruising around the face and a large hematoma to (Reyes’) forehead,” an FBI agent added to the report.
In an interview with detectives DaSilva claimed he’d had sex with Reyes on Jan. 29 at her home in New Rochelle before she suddenly “fell to the floor and hit her head,” according to ABC News, at which point he tied her up, put her body in a suitcase and drove to Connecticut.
After going through “hundreds of hours of surveillance footage,” interviewing numerous witnesses and searching social media for clues, investigators finally caught up with DaSilva when they noticed activity on Reyes’ ATM card.
The Journal News has additional details of how DaSilva was captured:
…[D]etectives focused on Reyes’ bank card, which was used at a New Rochelle bank around 5 a.m. on Jan. 29, the day she went missing, according to the complaint. Prosecutors said $1,000 was withdrawn.
At the same time, a black Honda was parked across the street from the bank, and a man dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt over his head, dark pants and black sneakers with soles came and left the bank, according to the complaint.
Da Silva was seen leaving his Flushing condo wearing the same clothes at 10:50 p.m. on Jan. 29.
At 6:29 a.m. on Jan. 29, the Honda’s license plate was captured by a license plate reader at the intersection of North and Lincoln avenues in New Rochelle, according to the complaint.
Detective traced the license plate to a rental car company, which said the car was rented by an unnamed person from Jan. 28 to 29, according to the complaint.
The unnamed person is the holder of the account, and Da Silva was an authorized user on the account, according to the complaint.
DaSilva was reportedly in the country illegally after overstaying his visa.
Arrest made related to the Reyes Homicide pic.twitter.com/398G8pFExg
— Greenwich PD PIO (@GreenwichCTPD) February 12, 2019
Reyes’ mom, Norma Sanchez, told local media she was thankful to police and detectives for bringing justice in her daughter’s case.
“We are, of course, devastated for my daughter’s death, but I’m just blessed beyond grateful that they found her murderer,” Sanchez told CBS New York. “We didn’t think it was going to be this quick, but it’s just a blessing. I kept praying that she would tell me, she would give me hints, a name or something … I just feel so blessed, overwhelmed.”
“We’re just grateful we have someone,” Sanchez said. “I promised my daughter we would make justice for her and I’m just so grateful to the authorities, investigators, everybody. I am.”