Entertainment And News, Heartbreak

Who Is Valerie Reyes? New Details About The Woman Whose Body Was Found Stuffed Into A Suitcase

Photo: Greenwich Police Department
Who Is Valerie Reyes? New Details On Missing New York Woman Found In Suitcase

The body of a missing New York woman was found stuffed inside a suitcase on the side of a residential Connecticut road.

A highway worker found a red suitcase in a wooded area along an isolated road in Greenwich just after 8 a.m. Tuesday and called police when he realized it contained a young woman's body whose hands and feet had been bound. Greenwich police have identified the woman as 24-year-old Valerie Reyes, who was reported missing in New York on Jan. 29.

“The victim has been identified, with the assistance of the State of Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” Greenwich Police Capt. Robert Berry said in a 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.”

Greenwich Police Department

An autopsy was completed but her cause of death has not been released. 

“We are focusing on developing information on Valerie,” said police Lt. John Slusarz. “Our investigators have been working on this night and day. It’s going to take a tremendous amount of work.”

Greenwich police are handling the investigation but law enforcement in New York could be included as the case develops, Slusarz said.

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"This remains an active homicide investigation," Berry said at a news conference Tuesday.

Reyes, a resident of New Rochelle, was last seen on the morning of Jan. 29. She was reported missing when she failed to show up at for her shift at a Barnes & Noble book store in Eastchester, N.Y., the next day.

"Valerie had been reported missing to the New Rochelle Police Department and was last seen on January 29 at about 9 a.m.," Greenwich Police Captain Robert Berry said. "The Greenwich Police Department is dedicated to identifying those responsible for the death of Valerie and ensuring justice for her and her family."

Greenwich police added that they have received a "multitude of tips about this homicide."

"Many pieces of possible physical evidence were collected and results from forensic analysis are pending," the statement continued.

Authorities said Reyes was not murdered where her body was found, although they are not sure where the homicide took place.

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The worker who found Reye's body was placed on administrative leave after officials discovered he had taken photos of her remains, the New York Times reported. An investigation was launched to determine whether the worker, who was not named, will face disciplinary action.

“The victim was a daughter, a sister and a cousin of a family who is suffering a tremendous loss at this time. This thoughtless and insensitive behavior by an employee is inexcusable,” Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei said Thursday.

Reyes feared for her life the night before she disappeared, her mother Norma Sanchez told the Rockland/Westchester Journal News.  

"I'm afraid someone is going to murder me," Reyes said during a conversation with her mom on Jan. 28.

Sanchez asked if she was scared of her ex-boyfriend, who she broke up with on Jan. 24, but Reyes said no.

"She was very scared, very frightened," Sanchez said during an interview with the outlet. "She didn't mention anything or no one specific. She just said, 'I'm scared. I'm paranoid, mommy. I'm getting anxiety attacks. She was having a hard time talking."

Sanchez said her family hired a private investigator the day she reported her daughter missing. The P.I. tracked Reyes to an ATM in Manhattan, where she was captured on video surveillance around 2 a.m. That was the last time she was seen before her death.

"There needs to be justice for my precious daughter," Sanchez said. "The people who did this need to pay."

If you have any information about the case, police urge you to call the Greenwich Police Tip line at (203) 622-3333 or email at tips@greenwchct.org.

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Sarah Gangraw writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.