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Valerie Reyes

A Flushing man who kidnapped his ex-girlfriend could potentially face the death penalty or life imprisonment as more details of the events leading up to the incident are revealed.

On Feb. 12, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York (SDNY) announced that Javier da Silva was charged in White Plains federal court with kidnapping resulting in Valerie Reyes’ death and also with “unlawfully transporting” her via suitcase to Greenwich, Connecticut.

New Rochelle police arrested da Silva on Feb. 11 after he was caught fraudulently using Reyes’ ATM card just one day before her mother, father and current boyfriend reported her missing.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Greenwich police said that da Silva confessed to his crimes and was described as being “cooperative” during questioning.

“As alleged, Javier Da Silva is charged with committing a gruesome kidnapping that resulted in the death of a young woman. Thanks to the excellent work of the FBI and its local law enforcement partners, Da Silva will need to answer for his alleged actions in court,” said SDNY U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.

Unsealed court documents show that da Silva was caught on surveillance video leaving his house on Jan. 28 wearing “a black hooded sweatshirt over his head, dark pants and black sneakers with white soles.”

In the early morning of Jan. 29, an individual wearing an identical outfit was seen getting out of black Honda CR-V and withdrawing “approximately $1000” from an ATM.

A few hours later, da Silva allegedly returned to his Flushing condo with a duffle bag and was seen leaving the same condo without the bag.

Once he was arrested,  da Silva was interviewed at the New Rochelle Police Department where he claimed he and Reyes had sex at her New Rochelle apartment. Court documents showed that the same black Honda was seen in New Rochelle on Jan. 29.

Photo via Instagram – Reyes and da Silva back in 2018

He told police that during the course of having relations with Reyes, she “fell to the floor and hit her head.” He then indicated that he put packing tape over her mouth, bound her legs and hands and put her in a suitcase. After placing the suitcase in his car, he drove away and later left the suitcase in “a forest.”

Reyes and da Silva had previously been in a relationship but family members confirmed that she had ended the relationship a year before. A photo from da Silva’s Instagram page shows the pair together in a CVS Pharmacy on Feb. 8, 2018.

The New York Post first reported that da Silva did not want the Venezuelan consulate to be informed of his case. Instead, he asked that the tell the consulate of Portugal, of which he is also a citizen.

“Not Venezuela, Portugal,” da Silva reportedly said in federal court on Wednesday.

Multiple reports said that da Silva was granted a visa from Venezuela but it had expired. Since then, he was allegedly living in the United States illegally.

Reyes’ funeral mass was this morning at St. Gabriel’s Church in New Rochelle and she was laid to rest in Greenwood Union Cemetery.

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