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Body Found Bound And Stuffed In Suitcase On Side Of Road Is A Missing New York Bookstore Worker

Valerie Reyes was reported missing on January 30 after she didn't show up for work. Her body was later found by highway workers in a suitcase on the side of a Connecticut road.

By Gina Tron

The body of woman found bound at the hands and feet and stuffed in a suitcase on the side of a road in Connecticut has been identified as a missing bookstore worker from New York.

Police on Thursday identified the woman as 24-year-old Valerie Reyes, of New Rochelle, New York. Highway workers in Greenwich, Connecticut, found her body in a big red suitcase in a wooded area about 10 miles outside New Rochelle Tuesday morning.

Friends and co-workers say Reyes was a bookstore worker who was reported missing on Jan. 30 after she didn't show up for work at a Barnes & Noble in Eastchester. She was reportedly passionate about art and aspired to be a tattoo artist.

The Connecticut chief medical examiner's office has performed an autopsy but has not yet released the cause and manner of Reyes' death. However it appears it will be investigated as a homicide, Greenwich Police Department Captain Robert Berry said.

“Her family was advised of the positive identification last night. They are obviously devastated by the loss of Valerie and our heartfelt condolences go out to them," Berry said in a statement cited by NBC News. “The Greenwich Police Department is dedicated to identifying those responsible for the death of Valerie and ensuring justice for her and her family."

No arrests have been made and there have not been any people of interest named.

When she vanished, the New York Police Department stated that she “suffers from anxiety and depression.”

Her former neighbor spoke highly of her.

"It's heartbreaking," Brenda de Giacomo told WABC. "I can't believe someone hurt her. She's innocent. She's amazing. She's amazing to the kids on the block. She was a sweetheart. I can't understand how someone could hurt someone like that." 

The Associated Press has contributed to this report.

[Photo: New York Police Department]