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Crime News

Young Woman Whose Body Was Found Stuffed Into Suitcase Feared For Her Life Before Disappearing, Mom Says

"She was very scared, very frightened. ... She just said, 'I'm scared. I'm paranoid, mommy," Norma Sanchez said of her daughter Valerie Reyes, who was found murdered in Greenwich, Connecticut.

By Eric Shorey

The mother of a New York woman whose body was found in a suitcase in Connecticut says her daughter had recently expressed fears about her safety.

Norma Sanchez, the mother of 24-year-old Valerie Reyes, said the two had discussed her child's concerns shortly before Reyes was reported as missing on Jan. 30.

"She was very scared, very frightened," Sanchez told the Journal News, a New York-based news organization. "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."

"I asked her, 'Why do you feel this way? Was there someone at your house?' I asked about her ex-boyfriend," Sanchez continued, describing the Jan. 28 conversation. "And she said, 'No. I'm afraid someone is going to murder me.'"

Reyes was last seen by her family on Jan. 27. A friend said she spotted Reyes at the Greenwich train station on Jan. 29.

Police discovered the remains of Reyes in a suitcase dumped on the side of a road in Greenwich, Connecticut on Tuesday. She had been bound at the wrists and ankles, police said, according to The New York Times.

As of Thursday, no suspects had been announced and no arrests have been made. Greenwich investigators have received "have received a multitude of tips," according to a statement made to ABC News.

Sanchez noted that Reyes had broken up with her boyfriend only six days before she had vanished.

A candlelight vigil was held for Reyes in Glen Island Park on Long Island on February 7. Mourners recited prayers and sang in Spanish.

Meanwhile, an employee of the Greenwich’s Department of Public Works was caught taking photos of the corpse, a move criticized by First Selectman Peter J. Tesei in a statement on Thursday.

“The victim was a daughter, a sister and a cousin of a family who is suffering a tremendous loss at this time,” Tesei said of the worker who has since been placed on paid administrative leave. “This thoughtless and insensitive behavior by an employee is inexcusable.”

Anyone with any information on the case is asked to call the Greenwich police at 203-622-3333 or email tips@greenwchct.org.

[Photo: Valerie Reyes via NYPD]