A man has received a 30-year prison sentence after kidnapping his ex-girlfriend, stuffing her into a small suitcase and leaving her to suffocate by the side of a road in Connecticut.
Javier Da Silva Rojas pleaded guilty to a single count of kidnapping for the fatal abduction of Valerie Reyes, 24, in 2019.
The 25-year-old was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Thursday September 23.
The court heard how Rojas droves to Valerie’s house on January 28, 2019 and switched his phone to airplane mode before entering her home.
Prosecutors reported the couple allegedly got into a altercation that left Valerie with head trauma and bruising around her face.
She was then bound by Rojas using packing tape and twine before being shoved in the suitcase.
He then drove 10 miles from her home to Greenwich, Connecticut, and ditched the suitcase the in a wooden area, court documents said.
Valeria later died of homicidal asphyxiation.
Rojas told investigators that Reyes fell to the floor and hit her head after they had sex at her home a week before her body was found, federal authorities said.
He said that he put packing tape over her mouth, bound her legs and hands, and put her in a suitcase that he dropped in a wooded area after driving for some time.
Valerie’s family reported her missing two days later and authorities discovered her body on February 5.
Rojas’ DNA was found on the suitcase handles, as well under Valerie’s fingernails.
Rojas also drained her bank account, which contained approximately $5,350, and stole her iPad and laptop, according to prosecutors.
“In the days after, [Rojas] used her ATM card to empty her bank account and then attempted to cover up the evidence of his conduct,” said Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss in a statement.
Court documents revealed that Valerie had told her mother “she was nervous, anxious and afraid someone was going to murder her.”
“The victim of this crime was in the prime of her life when it was senselessly ended by Rojas’ abhorrent act,” Strauss added.
Rojas allegedly cried as the victim’s mother gave a statement.
“You, Javier, deserve nothing but pain and rejection,’ she told the court. “I want you to hear the words of a mother who you devastated by taking away my baby girl.”
Rojas apologized to Reyes’s family, stating: “No words can express how repulsed I am by the acts I committed. I will never forgive myself for that. I cannot ask [Valerie’s family] to forgive me because I don’t deserve it. I would like them to know I’m very sorry.”
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