Javier Enrique Da Silva Rojas, 25, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of kidnapping in the murder of his ex, Valerie Reyes, 24, says The Department of Justice.
The victim’s case caught national attention in part of the way her body was found. Reyes, a resident of New Rochelle, New York, was found dead in a suitcase on the side of the road in Greenwich, Connecticut.
“As he admitted today in court, Javier Da Silva committed a horrid kidnapping that resulted in the tragic death of Valerie Reyes, a young woman with her entire adult life ahead of her,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement. “Thanks to the excellent work of the FBI and our local law enforcement partners, Da Silva is now facing serious consequences.”
The defendant was arrested last year. Prosecutors said that his relationship with Reyes ended in about April 2018.
Almost a year later, on January 28, 2019, he rented a car from Flushing, New York (where he lived), and drove to the victim’s New Rochelle home. He switched his phone to “airplane mode,” and kidnapped her, prosecutors said. He covered her mouth with packing tape, and bound her hands and feet, authorities said. Da Silva put her in a suitcase, which he dumped in Connecticut. Reyes’s body was found on February 5, 2019. The Connecticut Medical Examiner’s Office determined she died of homicidal asphyxiation.
Sentencing is scheduled to take place in a New York federal court on May 21 at 11 a.m. ET. The DOJ says Da Silva faces up to life in a prison. The Greenwich Police Department said Da Silva is expected to be sentenced to at least 30 years behind bars.
“Although justice has been served, we remain saddened by the loss of Valerie and sincerely hope that her family will find peace and a sense of closure to this tragedy,” cops said.
[Image via New York Police Department]