The ex-boyfriend of a 24-year-old Westchester woman whose body was found dead in a suitcase in Connecticut has been sentenced to decades behind bars for his role in her 2019 kidnapping.
Javier Enrique Da Silva Rojas, age 25, of Queens, pleaded guilty in White Plains federal court to kidnapping Valerie Reyes in New Rochelle and illegally transporting her to Fairfield County, where her body was found in a suitcase a week later in Greenwich.
US Attorney Audrey Strauss announced that Rojas has been sentenced to 360 months in prison following his guilty plea in February last year. He was also sentenced to two years of supervised release in addition to the prison time.
Da Silva and Reyes, who was 24 years old at the time of her death, were in a romantic relationship, which ended in April 2018, Strauss said.
According to Strauss, late on Jan. 28, 2019, Da Silva rented a car from a garage in Flushing and drove to Reyes’ residence in New Rochelle, arriving in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2019.
Before he entered the Victim’s home, Da Silva switched his phone to “airplane mode.”
Sometime after Da Silva entered Reyes' apartment, the two had a violent altercation, during which Reyes suffered head trauma, bruising around the face, and a large hematoma to her forehead.
Strauss said that Da Silva then kidnapped her — covering her mouth with several layers of packing tape and binding her feet and hands with packing tape and twine and putting her in a suitcase—before disposing of her body, still inside the suitcase, in Connecticut.
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Prosecutors noted that during the next few days, Da Silva used his victim’s debit card on multiple occasions to withdraw nearly $5,500 in cash from her bank account. He also sold an iPad that belonged to her in the days following her death.
On Jan. 30, 2019, Reyes was reported missing to the New Rochelle Police Department, and her body was found on Feb. 5, 2019, in a red suitcase alongside a public roadway in Greenwich.
The Connecticut Medical Examiner’s Office later determined that Reyes’ cause of death was homicidal asphyxiation.
“Javier Da Silva committed a horrific kidnapping that resulted in the death of a young woman,” Strauss said. "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,” Strauss continued. “Those who commit violence, especially those who kill, will not escape justice.”
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