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Venezuelan Charged With Murdering 24-Year-Old Valerie Reyes Who Was Found Dead In A Suitcase

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The death of 24-year-old Valerie Reyes is not only tragic but also riddled with confusion and senselessness. It’s been two weeks since Reyes’s family and friends had reported her missing. A week later police confirmed that Reyes had been found in a suitcase, dead on the side of the road near Greenwich, Connecticut. Police began a search for her killer. Now they have a suspect behind bars — but the story about how all of this transpired is far from over.

Police have charged 24-year-old Javier Da Silva, who dated Valerie Reyes a year ago, in connection with her death and disappearance.

CREDIT: Credit: Instagram / @igotavisual

Da Silva told police that Reyes died after they met up for one last fling, the New York Post reports. Da Silva said that the young woman died as a result of falling on the floor and cracking her head open. The man from Queens did admit that in a panic after her fall, he covered her mouth with packing tape, and tied up her arms and legs, then forced her body into a red suitcase. The NY Post reports that police were able to find Da Silva through an ATM surveillance camera that showed him taking out $1,000 from Reyes’s bank account on Jan. 30.

Family and friends began to question Reyes’ whereabouts on Jan. 29 when she didn’t show up for her shift at her job. What is also strange about this story is that Reyes had told her mother that she was afraid someone was going to kill her. She never elaborated on who she was talking about.

“She was going on about how frightened she was in that apartment,” her mother, Norma Sanchez, told the New York Times. “She was hearing about all these murders of women. ‘I just can’t get it out of my head,'” her daughter said to her and added “‘I feel like somebody’s going to murder me.'”

While her friends and family hadn’t heard from her since Jan. 28, on Jan. 30, two different surveillance cameras that showed Reyes was in Manhattan around 2 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Investigators also said that the sheets, iPad, and iPhone were missing from Reyes’s apartment.

Da Silva — who holds dual citizenships from Venezuela and Portugal — is charged with federal kidnapping resulting in death. Da Silva also told the judge that he didn’t want the Venezuelan embassy to be informed of his arrest, but rather announce it to Portugal.

“Not Venezuela, Portugal,” Da Silva said.

“He failed to leave the United States within the required time frame,” ICE spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow told Greenwich Time. And added that immigration authorities “‘will aim to take custody of Da Silva for immediate removal when he is released from criminal custody,’ if and when he released from jail.”

“Our heart is broken for the unfortunate and tragic loss of Valerie Reyes,” Reyes’s mother told the Greenwich Time.

CREDIT: Twitter/@tsizemorepix

“It was a blessing that they caught him so fast,” Reyes’s mother told Greenwich Time. “I’m hoping he gets life in prison — rot in there!”

She also said that she still has lots of questions surrounding her daughter’s death. She even knew her daughter and Da Silva had dated after they met on a dating website. She said that he was “never aggressive, but very persistent, the type not to take no for an answer. Weird.”

People have donated more than $31,000 to the family of Reyes via GoFundme.

“We want to show our love, support, and condolences to the Reyes family. Besides showing emotional support, we are asking friends and family to share and help them out with costs to lay her to rest,” reads the GoFundMe page. “All donations big or small are appreciated and helpful. Let’s keep the Reyes family in our prayers during this difficult time.”

READ: 5 Unsolved Murders That Have Left Families Shattered As They Search For Answers

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Youngest Victim Of Alabama Tornado Is 6-Year-Old Armando 'AJ' Hernandez

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Youngest Victim Of Alabama Tornado Is 6-Year-Old Armando ‘AJ’ Hernandez

Kayla Melton / Facebook

The community of Beauregard, Alabama is still cleaning up after a deadly F3 tornado tore through the rural area. The death toll of the tornado is at 23 people and all missing people have been accounted for. The youngest victim of the tornado is 6-year-old Armando “AJ” Hernandez. The weekend saw 34 tornadoes touch down in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina as the storm cell moved through the southeastern part of the U.S.

Twenty-three people died during a catastrophic weekend of tornado activity in the southeastern U.S.

Credit: @wsfa12news / Twitter

President Trump tweeted about the tornado saying he directed FEMA to offer the impacted communities “A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama.” The victims range in age from 6 to 89 years old. According to USA Today, the tornado that struck Lee County Alabama had sustained winds of 170 mph and cut a mile wide swath through 70 miles in the rural community.

Armando “AJ” Hernandez is the youngest victim to die in the tornado.

Credit: Kayla Melton / Facebook

Hernandez’s mother, Kayla Melton, posted during the storm desperate to find her son. Family, friends, and strangers flooded the comments of her plea for help with offers of prayers and condolences before it was confirmed that Hernandez had died in the tornado. Others offered to go look for her child in the wreckage of Beauregard, Alabama that has been seen on national news stations.

When the news of Hernandez’s death was confirmed, his aunt posted a heartbreaking message about her nephew.

Credit: Tina Melton / Facebook

Strangers came together to offer his aunt support on social media after hearing about the tragic death of the little boy.

“I do not know you but my heart breaks for you all,” Facebook user Michelle Brown Burris wrote on Tina Melton’s post. “My best friend lost her daughter in the Joplin tornado in 2011. I know the pain may seem unbearable but I pray that God brings you all some comfort especially to his mother.”

Hernandez was with his older brother and father in their home when they took a direct hit from the tornado.

Credit: Kayla Melton / Facebook

According to Al.com, Hernandez, his 10-year-old brother, and their father huddled in the closet when the tornado started to tear through the rural community. Despite the father holding onto both boys, the house took a direct hit from the tornado and the children were torn from his arms.

Hernandez’s brother was found after the storm and had a broken arm and a skull fracture. Hernandez’s father sustained broken ribs and other minor injuries.

“They’re holding up,” Bobby Kidd, Hernandez’s grandfather, told AL.com about the state of the family after the storm. “They’re holding up better than I would be. I know it’s going to get difficult as we go home… But Beauregard is the greatest community.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with costs related to the devastating tornado.

Credit: Kayla Melton / Facebook

“On Sunday, March 3, 2019, A destructive tornado devastated Lee County, Alabama leaving many families heartbroken. My best friend Kayla Melton was affected tremendously by this. She lost her home, and most importantly her son Armando ‘AJ’ Hernandez,” reads the GoFundMe page.

“We can only imagine the hurt that her family is experiencing at this time. Her boyfriend and her other son have been transferred to UAB hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.  We know that God is still in control even in the midst of turmoil.”

“If you would be so kind to please consider donating to help this family in their time of need it would be greatly appreciated.”

“If you are unable to donate please send up a prayer for this family and others affected by this catastrophic weather event.”

“Thank you and God bless.”

President Trump has announced a trip to the devastated area on Friday to survey the damage.

Credit: @TheRealDWoo / Twitter

“President Trump has been very gracious and pledged his unwavering support to Alabama since the devastating storms and tornadoes struck Alabama over the weekend,” Governor Kay Ivey told USA Today. Gov. Ivey also confirmed that Trump approved her request for a major disaster declaration.

READ: Coastal Towns In Southwestern Mexico Flooded From Major Storm Surges From Hurricane Willa

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