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NY murder: Venezuela man arrested after woman found in suitcase

13 February 2019

Da Silva - a Venezuelan citizen living illegally in the NY borough of Queens after overstaying his visa - was arrested Monday night. She had been missing since January 29.

Captain Robert Berry says investigators "zeroed in" on suspect Javier DeSilva after he allegedly used victim Valerie Reyes's ATM card to withdraw cash multiple times after her death.

The aspiring tattoo artist disappeared one day after telling her mum that "somebody is going to murder me". She said that her daughter feared that she would be murdered.

Her body was found stuffed in a suitcase and bound hand and foot. "She just mentioned, 'I'm really, really scared". William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement. "I'm paranoid. I'm getting anxiety attacks".

According to prosecutors for the United States Attorney's Office in the Southern District of NY, 24-year-old Queens, N.Y., resident Javier Da Silva was arrested and charged with one count of kidnapping, "resulting in the death of Valerie Reyes".

Reyes had worked at a Barnes & Noble store in Eastchester, New York, since it opened 2 ½ years ago, according to the bookstore chain.

"I asked her why do you feel this way? Was there someone at your house?' Reyes" mother said.

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She asked about her daughter's ex-boyfriend but still Reyes told her mother "no, it wasn't him".

According to the Hartford Courant, a man who identified himself as Reyes' boyfriend wrote before she was found dead that people should contact him if they had any information about her disappearance.

'I'm anxious someone is going to murder me, ' Reyes then allegedly blurted out.

William F. Sweeney Jr., head of the FBI's NY office, said federal authorities teamed with police in Greenwich and New Rochelle to "swiftly identify Javier Da Silva, an alleged murderer, and place him behind bars".

The chief medical examiner's office has completed an autopsy but has not yet released the cause and manner of Reyes' death. Those items included an iPhone, an iPad, her wallet, several items of clothing and bedsheets.

"At this unimaginably hard time, we are asking for love, support and respect to our family for the loss of my attractive daughter Valerie Reyes who is now resting in heaven", he said.

DeSilva is scheduled to make an initial court appearance in a federal court in NY on Tuesday.

NY murder: Venezuela man arrested after woman found in suitcase