Cause of Reyes’ death still unknown
GREENWICH — As the investigation into the death of Valerie Reyes enters its third week, law enforcement officials say they still are awaiting a ruling on how she died, 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 homicide of the 24-year-old Westchester woman, whose body was found in a suitcase in Greenwich on Feb. 5.
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.
Javier Da Silva sealed Reyes’ mouth with tape and bound her hands and feet before putting her in the suitcase and disposing of her body, authorities said. She was also found with a severe wound to her head, which Da Silva blamed on a fall in her New Rochelle apartment.
Police said they have not been informed of the cause of her death.
“Not as far as I’ve been told,” said Capt. Cosmo Costa, the New Rochelle Police Department’s public information officer.
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 with 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 inside the suitcase.
Her body was stuffed in a red suitcase. She was barefoot, wearing an unbuttoned shirt and jeans, police said.
“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;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 her death on Feb. 12.
Rob Marchant and Ken Borsuk contributed to this story.