Manner of Reyes’ death still unknown

February 18, 2019

GREENWICH — As the investigation into the death of Valerie Reyes enters its third week, law enforcement officials say they still are waiting for word on the cause of her death, which will provide answers about the woman’s final moments.

Federal authorities have charged ex-boyfriend Javier Da Silva Rojas with kidnapping resulting in death in the killing of Valerie Reyes, 24, whose body was found in a suitcase in Glenville Feb. 5.

Da Silva sealed Reyes’ mouth with tape and bound her hands and feet before putting her in the suitcase. She was also found with a severe wound to her head, which Da Silva has blamed on a fall in her New Rochelle apartment.

A media report Monday said Reyes died of asphyxiation. But law enforcement sources and the Connecticut Medical Examiner’s Office said it is too early to make that determination.

Police said they have not been informed of the cause of death.

“Not as far as I’ve been told,” said New Rochelle Police Department Public Information Officer Cpt. Cosmo Costa.

The Medical Examiner’s Office said its investigation will take another three to five weeks.

Da Silva, a former boyfriend of Reyes, said in an interview wtih New York media over the weekend that Reyes fell and hit her head and he panicked. Da Silva, 24, of Queens, claimed in the New York Post interview that he then tied Reyes up so she would fit in a suitcase.

Her body was stuffed in a red suitcase. She was barefoot, with an unbuttoned shirt and jeans on.

“There were obvious signs of head trauma including bruising around the face and a large hematoma to the deceased female’s forehead,” the arrest complaint reads.

Reyes was reported missing on Jan. 29 and her body was found in a wooded area on the side of Glenville Road in Greenwich on Feb. 5. Da Silva was arrested and charged in death on Feb. 12.

Rob Marchant and Ken Borsuk contributed to this report.