A New York woman whose body was found inside a suitcase on the side of a Connecticut road suffocated to death, officials said Monday.
The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner listed 24-year-old Valerie Reyes’ official cause of death as homicidal asphyxia, NBC New York reported.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Reyes, of New Rochelle, New York, died before or after she was stuffed inside the suitcase. The medical examiner did not respond to a request for clarification Monday.
Reyes’ family reported her missing in late January. Her body was found a week later on Feb. 5 inside a red, full-size suitcase in Greenwich, roughly 12 miles north of New Rochelle.
An ex-boyfriend, Javier Da Silva, was arrested Feb. 11 and charged with kidnapping resulting in death after he tried using her ATM card, NBC Connecticut reported.
In interviews with authorities, Da Silva has denied killing Reyes, though he admitted putting her body in the suitcase after she fell and bumped her head at her apartment, according to the station.