Valerie Reyes was found packed into a suitcase in Connecticut on February 5. Photo courtesy Greenwich Police Department
Feb. 13 (UPI) — An ex-boyfriend has been arrested in connection to the killing of a woman whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase last week in Connecticut, police said.

Queens resident Javier Da Silva was arrested in New York Monday, the Greenwich Police Department said in a press release Tuesday. He’s charged with committing a “gruesome kidnapping” that resulted in the death of 24-year-old Valerie Reyes, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement.

According to court documents, she was barefoot, bound at the feet and knees and her hands were bound behind her back with packing tape and white twine. She also had white tape over her mouth and chin and her face was bruised. Her body had already undergone the early stages of decomposition.

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The arrest of Da Silva followed the examination of multiple crime scenes and hundreds of hours of surveillance footage as well as numerous interviews with potential witnesses, police said.

“What zeroed us in, and the investigators from New Rochelle, was from the timeline we established, we believe she was already deceased and we saw continued ATM [bank] activity,” Greenwich Police Captain Robert Berry told reporters Tuesday, the Greenwich Free Press reported.

Authorities said Da Silva used Reye’s debit card to withdraw about $1,000 from a bank in New Rochelle on the morning she went missing, according to court documents.

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“This same suspect was interviewed jointly by Greenwich and New Rochelle detectives and admitted a role in the death of Valerie Reyes,” Berry added.

According to court documents, the suspect told investigators he and Reyes were having sex at her home when she fell to the floor and hit her head. He then covered her mouth with tape and bound her arms and legs and put her in the suitcase, which he put in the trunk of his car. After driving for some time, he abandoned the suitcase in a forest, Da Silva told investigators.

“Together with our partners from the Greenwich and New Rochelle Police Departments, we were able to swiftly identify Javier Da Silva, an alleged murderer, and place him behind bars,” FBI Assistant Dir. William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement. “But while today’s arrest is certainly a welcome conclusion, it in no way alleviates the pain and suffering Valerie’s family will continue to feel for years to come.”

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The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has yet to release the autopsy results to rule the cause of death.

Da Silva is charged with one count of kidnapping resulting in death. The case will be conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.

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