Valerie Reyes Had A Premonition: Told Mom, 'I'm Afraid Someone Is Going To Murder Me'
According to her mother, it is unclear exactly who Valerie Reyes was afraid of or why she believed that she was being targeted.
GREENWICH, CT — Just before she went missing, the 24-year-old woman whose body was found stuffed into a suitcase near a Connecticut road told her mother that she was afraid that someone was going to kill her.
Valerie Reyes had recently grown paranoid and afraid to be alone in her New Rochelle apartment, her mother, Norma Sanchez, told WABC. Sanchez said that Reyes, who had recently broken up with a boyfriend, told her, "I'm afraid someone is going to murder me.”
“She had a lot of panic, a lot of fear in her single apartment, after breaking up with her boyfriend,” Sanchez stated. “I said, ‘Stay with me.’ But she said, ‘No mama, I’m OK.’”
Sanchez has specifically clarified that her daughter did not appear to be in fear of her ex-boyfriend, but of living alone after he moved out.
A group of highway workers found Reyes' dead body stuffed into a red suitcase on Tuesday in Greenwich, Connecticut. Reyes lived in New Rochelle, which is about 13 miles from where her remains were found.
The victim has been described as hard-working, quiet, and friendly. She had recently gotten a dog.
Reyes, who worked at Barnes & Noble in Eastchester, initially went missing on the morning of January 29. She was last seen walking toward the train station in New Rochelle.
Her family reported her missing the next day, and friends and family began papering nearby areas with her photo and flyers.
New York Police Department's Midtown North tweeted out a description of Reyes.
It read: "She was last seen wearing a green coat, black jeans, and black shoes. Suffers from anxiety and depression.”
Workers doing a routine sweep noticed the suitcase located around 15 to 20 feet off the shoulder of a road. Inside, police say they found Reyes' body with her hands and feet bound.
The Connecticut chief medical examiner's office says that they are working on the autopsy report and that it could be weeks before it is available.
As if Reyes' disappearance and murder weren't difficult enough for her loved ones, in a shocking instance of bad taste, a Greenwich DPW worker is thought to have taken photos of her body and shared them. Department of Public Works foreman James Clifford reportedly took pictures of Reyes' body in the suitcase and of the crime scene and inappropriately disseminated them. He has been placed on administrative leave.
"The victim was a daughter, a sister, and a cousin of a family who is suffering a tremendous loss at this time," First Selectman Peter J. Tesei said in a statement. "This thoughtless and insensitive behavior by an employee is inexcusable."
Police wearing protective white suits spent several hours inside Reyes' apartment Friday, according to WCBS. "Many pieces of possible physical evidence were collected and results from forensic analysis are pending,” Lieutenant John Slusarz said in a statement.
According to her mother, it is unclear exactly who Reyes was afraid of — or why she believed that she was being targeted. So far, police have not named a suspect, and Reyes’ friends and family are desperate for answers.
Authorities have asked anyone with information to call an anonymous hotline at (203) 622-3333.