Feb. 13, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
A Flushing man was arrested on Monday in connection to the gruesome death of a New Rochelle woman whose body was found stuffed inside a suitcase on a Greenwich, Connecticut, street earlier this month.
Javier Enrique Da Silva Rojas, 24, was arrested at his Flushing home Monday and charged with one count of kidnapping causing death, according to authorities. He faces life in prison.
Da Silva, who was reportedly an ex-boyfriend, is alleged to have kidnapped Valerie Reyes in New Rochelle on Jan. 28 or 29, before cramming her bound body into a red suitcase and then dumping it.
Reyes’ body was discovered by public works personnel who spotted a suitcase on the side of the road in Greenwich on Feb.5. When they unzipped the suitcase, they found Reyes’ decomposing body. She was bound at the hands and feet, her mouth taped and her shirt and jeans were unzipped. There was also trauma to her head, authorities said.
The police tracked down Da Silva after discovering that Reyes’ debit card had been used at a New Rochelle bank on Jan. 29. Authorities were able to get video footage of the suspect and the black Honda–including the license plates–that he was driving.
The license plates led police to a Flushing rental car company and then to Da Silvas’ Flushing condo. The police reviewed video footage taken at the condo and determined that Da Silva was the same man as the individual at the bank.
Police picked up Rojas and he confessed to his involvement in Reyes’ death. He told police that he had sex with Reyes at her New Rochelle home and that she fell to the floor and hit her head.
He then said he put her in a suitcase and drove off.
“Today’s arrest is certainly a welcome conclusion,” said FBI assistant director William F. Sweeney Jr. in a statement. However, “it in no way alleviates the pain and suffering Valerie’s family will continue to feel for years to come. The reality of this situation is utterly unimaginable, as is the crime with which Da Silva is charged.”