A Time To Kill: Portrait of a Predator features the case of Valerie Reyes, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Javier Da Silva.
On Jan. 30, 2019, Reyes was reported missing by her family. She would usually report to work at Barnes and Noble in Eastchester, New York, but no one had seen or heard from her in two days.
Relatives stated that Reyes, who suffered from depression and panic attacks, started feeling fearful of dying after her former boyfriend moved out of her apartment.
In a phone conversation with her mother, Reyes said, “I am really, really scared. I’m really paranoid, Mommy. I am getting anxiety attacks.”
“Now I’m going to be scared being here,’ just continue living there by herself.”
On Feb. 5 of that same year, Reyes was found dead. Employees with the Department of Public Workers in Greenwich, Connecticut, had discovered her body inside a suitcase that was dumped on the side of the road.
Her hands and feet were bound.
Valerie Reyes’ cause of death revealed
Later that month, police arrested Da Silva after surveillance footage captured the then-24-year-old as he entered the bank and withdrew $1,000 from Reyes’ bank account.
He then stole her iPad and allegedly showed it off on social media.
Police tracked him down through a car rental company in Flushing, New York, where he rented the Honda Accord that he was seen driving.
While in police custody, he told detectives that he and Reyes were at her apartment having sex when she suddenly hit her head, which caused her to fall on the floor.
Da Silva said he panicked.
As she lay unconscious, he put tape over her mouth and tied her hands and feet. He then put her body in the suitcase, put it in her vehicle, and drove off to find a place to dump her.
Three months after Reyes’ body was found, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Farmington released her cause of death. According to the autopsy report, she died of asphyxiation.
Her death was ultimately the result of being trapped inside the suitcase.
Where is Javier Da Silva now?
In February 2020, Da Silva pleaded guilty to kidnapping his ex-girlfriend and causing her death by leaving her to die in the suitcase.
He is now in prison after the judge sentenced him in September 2021 to 30 years.
Da Silva is from Venezuela, but in 2017, he arrived in the United States on a visa but failed to return home after it expired.
After his prison term, he faces deportation.
A Time To Kill: Portrait of a Predator premieres Friday, January 20 at 10/9c