A woman found dead and bound in a suitcase in a wooded area of Connecticut was identified Thursday as a 24-year-old New York resident who worked at a bookstore and aspired to be a tattoo artist, according to police and co-workers. Greenwich, Connecticut, police identified the woman as Valerie Reyes, of New Rochelle, New York, who was last seen Jan. 29 and was reported missing the next day after she did not show up for her job at an Eastchester Barnes & Noble, the AP reports. Highway workers found the body Tuesday morning in a wooded section of Greenwich, about 10 miles from New Rochelle. Officials said Reyes' hands and feet were bound. Police are investigating her death as a homicide. No arrests have been announced. The chief medical examiner's office has completed an autopsy but has not yet released the cause and manner of Reyes' death.
Her family was notified of the positive identification Wednesday night, police said. "They are obviously devastated by the loss of Valerie and our heartfelt condolences go out to them," Greenwich police Capt. Robert Berry said in a statement. "The Greenwich Police Department is dedicated to identifying those responsible for the death of Valerie and ensuring justice for her and her family." Also Thursday, Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei announced that a town public works employee who allegedly took photos of the body and crime scene has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. He declined to name the worker. "The victim was a daughter, a sister and a cousin of a family who is suffering a tremendous loss at this time," Tesei said. "This thoughtless and insensitive behavior by an employee is inexcusable. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Ms. Reyes' family." (A horrifyingly similar case.)