May 6 (UPI) -- The woman whose body was found stuffed and bound in a suitcase in Connecticut died of asphyxiation, authorities said.
The Connecticut medical examiner's office said Monday without further comment that Valerie Reyes, whose body was found Feb. 5 in the Town of Greenwich, was killed by "homicidal asphyxia," The Journal News reported.
Her ex-boyfriend, Javier Da Silva, was arrested in New York a week after her body was discovered and charged with one count of kidnapping resulting in death. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Da Silva told investigators that he and Reyes were having sex at her Queens home when she fell and hit her head. He then covered her mouth with tape and bound her limbs before putting her in the suitcase.
Her body was found in a wooded area by a public works employee. Preliminary investigation revealed that her body had already begun the early stages of decomposition and that there were signs of bruising to her face.
Reyes, 24, was reported missing Jan. 30 by her family to the New Rochelle Police Department.
Da Silva, who is a citizen of Portugal, was in the country illegally at the time of Reyes' death, having overstayed his visa, which expired Aug. 5 2017, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
He was due back in court Wednesday.