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A New York man was sentenced to three decades in prison this week for the kidnapping and murder of a bookstore worker whose remains were found jammed in a suitcase on a roadside in 2019.
In February 2019, Reyes’ corpse was discovered stuffed in a suitcase on the side of a public road in nearby Greenwich, Connecticut. Reyes, who was barefoot and had an unbuttoned shirt, was found with obvious signs of major head trauma, according to investigators. Her cause of death was ruled homicidal asphyxiation.
Earlier this year, Da Silva pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping. He’d faced a maximum of life in prison.
“Javier Da Silva committed a horrific kidnapping that resulted in the death of a young woman,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement. “In the days after, he used her ATM card to empty her bank account and then attempted to cover up the evidence of his conduct. Valerie Reyes, the victim of this crime, was in the prime of her life when it was senselessly ended by Da Silva’s abhorrent act. Those who commit violence, especially those who kill, will not escape justice.”
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman previously referred to Reyes’ kidnapping and murder as “gruesome.”
On Jan. 30, 2019, Reyes was reported missing to the New Rochelle Police Department. Her body was found in Connecticut days later.
According to charging documents, Da Silva bound Reyes’ feet and hands with twine and sealed her mouth with “several layers” of packing tape after a “violent interaction” between the two unfolded. Da Silva later transported Reyes’ body across state lines; Greenwich is located approximately two miles northeast of Westchester County.
Da Silva was later arrested in Flushing, Queens.
Prosecutors had also accused him of withdrawing $5,350 in cash from Reyes’ bank account and also selling her iPad in the days following her murder.
Da Silva maintained his innocence as he disclosed to detectives that he’d had sexual intercourse with Reyes at her residence when she “fell to the floor and hit her head," according to a separate criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com.
Reyes' family told police that she and Da Silva had previously dated. Reyes, they added, ended the relationship in April 2018, roughly a year prior to her death.
Da Silva was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service after his sentence was imposed. He’ll serve his time at an undisclosed correctional facility in the northeast. After serving his sentence, Da Silva will be subject to two years of supervised release, according to a sentencing order obtained by Oxygen.com. The court also recommended Da Silva receive drug treatment while incarcerated.
Da Silva’s team of public defenders, Jason Ser, Mark DeMarco, and Susanne Brody didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment on the case on Friday.
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