Memorial mass planned for New Rochelle woman found dead in suitcase in Connecticut

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — The mystery continues to deepen as investigators search for answers after a New Rochelle woman found dead and bound inside a suitcase in Connecticut.

A vigil was held for 24-year-old Valerie Reyes Thursday night. Over one hundred people gathered at Westchester Park to pray for her anguished family.

She was last seen alive on Jan. 29 at Metro North Station and was supposed to be on her way to work, according to investigators.

She was reported missing by the NYPD on Jan. 31.

One week later, highway workers found her body in a suitcase in a wooded section in Greenwich, Connecticut, about 10 miles from New Rochelle. Officials said Reyes’ hands and feed were bound.

Reyes was passionate about art and enjoyed drawing and painting, according to Lauren Bradford, who said she worked with Reyes at a Barnes & Noble for about 10 months. Reyes had plans to train to become a tattoo artist, Bradford said.

"Horrified. Absolutely horrified," said Bradford, 19. "I'm just like totally shocked. She was a confident. She really encouraged me and my aspirations. She had a really bright future. She was really excited about her art and her goals."

“A beautiful soul. A beautiful daughter to me; a beautiful sister, always caring,” her mother said.

A mass will be held in memory of Reyes at the St. Gabriel Church in New Rochelle Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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