The first picture has emerged of the man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and stuffing her body into a suitcase as police say he admitted dumping her remains but has denied murder.
Javier Enrique Da Silva Rojas, 24, is accused of murdering Valerie Reyes, also 24, in New Rochelle, New York, before tying her up, stuffing her into a case, then leaving it by the side of a road in Connecticut.
Rojas was arrested Tuesday and police say he told them that Reyes died after falling and hitting her head while the pair were having sex.
An image taken from his Instagram account shows the pair side by side in a CVS pharmacy almost exactly a year ago.
Javier Enrique Da Silva Rojas, 24 (left), admitted stuffing ex-girlfriend (right) Valerie Reyes’ body into a suitcase and dumping it, but denied murdering her and said she died during sex
Reyes (left and right) was reported missing on January 30 when she failed to turn up for work before her remains were discovered last week
Rojas told police that Reyes fell and hit her head during sex – killing her – and that he then bound and gagged her, put her in a suitcase, and dumped her body in woodlands
The reddish-orange suitcase containing Reyes’ body was discovered by highway workers in Greenwich around 8.15am Tuesday, one week after the 24-year-old was last seen on January 29
Investigators say Rojas admits he then bound her hands and feet, put packing tape over her mouth, forced her body into a case, and abandoned it.
Rojas, an illegal immigrant with joint Venezuelan-Portuguese citizenship who was staying in Queens, was arrested Tuesday after police say he tried to use Reyes’ bank card to withdraw $1,000 from an ATM.
Reyes was reported missing on January 30 when she failed to turn up for work, before her body was found on February 5.
Reyes had reportedly dumped Rojas a week before she went missing, though her mother told police that the pair hadn’t been seeing each other for a year, according to the
A source told
The arrest followed the police investigation of multiple crime scenes, reviewing hundreds of hours of surveillance footage, and interviews multiple potential witnesses, the Greenwich Police Department said in a press release on Tuesday.
Rojas was arrested Tuesday after he tried to use Reyes’ bank card to withdraw $1,000 from an ATM, according to police
In a haunting message sent to her mother the day before she vanished, Reyes said she feared someone was about to kill her
Reyes reportedly broke up with Rojas just days before she went missing, though her mother told reporters that the pair actually stopped dating a year ago
‘New Rochelle Police Detectives accompanied by Greenwich Police Detectives, arrested a suspect in New York who had fraudulently used the ATM card of homicide victim Valerie Reyes.
‘The arrested individual is also believed to be involved in the death of Valerie.
‘We are confident that the pursuit of justice for Valerie will be successful and we continue to work with the family to provide closure to this tragedy,’ the police statement said.
Reyes is seen in a picture issued by the NYPD while officers were searching for her after she was reported missing on January 30
In a press conference on Tuesday Greenwich Police said that de Silva confessed to playing a role in the murder when he was questioned following his arrest.
He was described as being cooperative during his interview.
The investigation into Reyes’ death is ongoing as Capt. Berry said ‘there’s a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up’ during the conference.
Reyes was reported missing after she failed to show up to work on January 29 in New Rochelle, New York and her body was found on February 5 stuffed in a red suitcase.
The victim predicted her killing, telling her mother on the phone that she feared she’d be killed on January 28, a day before she disappeared.
Reyes had reportedly dumped her boyfriend de Silva a week before she went missing
During a press conference Tuesday Greenwich Police Capt. Robert Berry said authorities arrested de Silva for fraudulently using Reyes’ ATM card
The suitcase had been dumped in a wooded area (above) about 15 feet from Glenville Road
‘She was very scared, very frightened,’ Sanchez told
‘She didn’t mention anything or no one specific. She just said, ‘I’m scared. I’m paranoid, mommy. I’m getting anxiety attacks, She was having a hard time talking.’
Sanchez says she desperately tried to pry for more information, but her daughter refused to specify why she felt that way.
Reyes, a Barnes & Noble store clerk, had broken up with her boyfriend five days earlier, according to Sanchez.
‘I asked her why do you feel this way? Was there someone at your house?’ Reyes’ mother said.
She asked about her daughter’s ex-boyfriend but still Reyes told her mother ‘no, it wasn’t him’.
Reyes did however reveal that she didn’t feel safe alone in her apartment, and expressed her concern at the murders of young women in the state.
Glenville Road runs through a quiet and somewhat isolated area of Glenville, a wealthy suburb of Greenwich with a population of just over 2,200 people
A vigil was held by family and friends on Thursday to mourn the loss Reyes, whom many have described as a ‘sweetheart’
The Greenwich Police Department shared this statement on Tuesday on the arrest
‘I’m worried someone is going to murder me,’ Reyes then allegedly blurted out.
Her body was discovered six days later in a red suitcase on the side of a road in a wooded area of wealthy neighborhood Greenwich, Connecticut. It’s 10 miles away from the New York border of her Westchester County home.
The official cause of Reyes’ death has not been confirmed as the autopsy is pending.
Police said tips have been pouring in with leads in her horrific and sudden slaying.
Police said previously that Reyes did not die at the location where she was found, but they did not know where she was killed.
According to The Journal, Reyes had taken her iPad, iPhone, clothes and bed sheets with her when she disappeared.
On Thursday a candlelit vigil was held in Reyes’ memory and on Tuesday a service is scheduled in New Rochelle.