Greenwich, Connecticut: A woman found dead and bound in a suitcase in a wooded area of Connecticut was identified Thursday as Valerie Reyes, a 24-year-old New York resident who was reported missing last week.
Police have identified the woman whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase on the side of a road in Greenwich, according to a statement released Thursday morning.
The victim is Valerie Reyes, 24, of New Rochelle, N.Y., according to Greenwich Police Captain Robert Berry. She had been reported missing to the New Rochelle Police Department and was last seen on Jan. 29 at about 9 a.m. Her body was found Tuesday morning off Glenville Road.
“The victim has been identified, with the assistance of the State of Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” Berry said in the statement. “Her family was advised of the positive identification (Wednesday) night. They are obviously devastated by the loss of Valerie and our heartfelt condolences go out to them.”
“The Greenwich Police Department is dedicated to identifying those responsible for the death of Valerie and ensuring justice for her and her family,” police said in a release.
The cause of death has not yet been confirmed by the medical examiner, Berry said. “Many pieces of possible physical evidence were collected and results from forensic analysis are pending,” he said.
Her body was found at about 8:23 a.m. Tuesday off the east shoulder of Glenville Road, just north of Stillman Lane by a town worker, police said. She was found at the scene inside a suitcase with her hands and feet bound.
On the same day that the body of a slain woman was found stuffed in a suitcase on the side of a road in Greenwich, police went to the New Rochelle home of a woman who was reported missing Jan. 30.
Friends and family members began posting on Facebook Jan. 30 seeking pleas for information on Reyes’ whereabouts. “I hope you are okay, I love you,” said one woman who identified herself as Reyes’ cousin. The woman said in other posts that Reyes was last seen the morning of Jan. 29 walking to the New Rochelle train station. She was wearing a dark green jacket, dark green pants and black shoes.
NYPD posted her missing person poster on Jan. 31. It included a photo of her with “Have you seen VALERIE REYES? 5′ 3″, black hair, brown eyes, 1/2 sleeve tattoo on left arm. Last seen wearing a green coat, black jeans, and black shoes. Suffers from anxiety and depression.”
Greenwich police do not know where the homicide happened, but said it did not occur in the spot where the body was found. The victim was bound at the hands and feet and stuffed in a suitcase.
An unidentified town highway worker who made the grisly discovery on Tuesday morning is also under investigation, according to the Hartford Courant. Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei confirmed that the worker took unauthorized photos of the victim and the crime scene, the Courant said.
“That’s someone’s wife, daughter, sister,” Tesei told the newspaper. “To have done something like that shows a disregard for the decedent and their loved ones. It really is unconscionable.”
The Greenwich Police Department repeated a call to the public, asking anyone “who may have seen anything suspicious on Glenville Road in the last few days” to contact the Greenwich Police Tip Line at 203- 622-3333, or send an email at Tips@greenwichct.org.
The homicide investigation was causing shock and unease in the Glenville community. Local residents said it was hard to believe that a quiet corner of Greenwich was associated with a grisly crime scene.
“We’re supposed to be the safest towns in America, or at least one of them,” Melissa Klinka said as she headed to a neighborhood grocery store. “So something like this makes people uncomfortable.” A lifelong resident of the area, Klinka said she has been hearing lots of speculation about the case from people in the community, and what might have led to the disposal of the body off Glenville Road. She said she was hoping that authorities could wrap up the case “and get closure.”
The area where the body was found is out of sight from nearby residences, in a small depression on the east side of Glenville Road near Stillman Lane. It is near a small area adjoining the road where a car could park.