Ex-boyfriend arrested in connection to New York woman found dead in suitcase

 nbcnews.com  2/13/2019 1:52:00 PM  2

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By Minyvonne Burke and Ron Allen

The ex-boyfriend of a New York woman found dead in a suitcase that was dumped on the side of a Connecticut road has been arrested and charged with kidnapping resulting in death, authorities said.

Javier Da Silva, 24, was taken into custody in Queens, New York, on Monday night for allegedly using a debit card belonging to Valerie Reyes, who was reported missing by her family on Jan. 30, according to police.

The kidnapping charge carries a sentence of death or life in prison, according to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Greenwich Police Capt. Robert Berry said Tuesday Da Silva "admitted a role" in Reyes' death, but did not elaborate.

“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.

Reyes' body, with her hands and feet bound, was found by highway workers last week inside red luggage left on a road in the wealthy town of Greenwich, Connecticut.

Valerie Reyes was found dead and stuffed in a suitcase in Connecticut on Feb. 5.

A cause of death for Reyes, who was from New Rochelle, is still pending.

The last time family members heard from Reyes was Jan. 28, police in New Rochelle said. Reyes, who family said suffered from depression and panic attacks, lived in the area with her father.

Norma Reyes, who last week recounted one of the last phone calls with her daughter, said Valerie was in "fear for my life" and thought someone was going to harm her.

"We don't even understand. The only thing that's weird is she was frightened for her life and then somebody ends up taking" her life, she said.

Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

Image: Ron AllenRon Allen

Ron Allen is an NBC News correspondent based in New York.

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