NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Police have taken a Yale University animal research technician into custody to collect DNA samples and searched his apartment for evidence that might link him to the death of a graduate student who worked in the same lab.
More than 20 police officers and FBI agents searched the
apartment of 24-year-old Raymond Clark III Tuesday night and led
him away him as neighbors leaned over the building's iron railing
New Haven Police Chief James Lewis described Clark as a person
of interest, not a suspect, in the death of Annie Le. The
24-year-old graduate student's body was found stuffed behind a wall
in a campus research building Sunday, the day she was to be
Police said Clark would be released after they obtain evidence
they need from him and his Middletown apartment. Investigators are
hoping to figure out within days whether Clark can be ruled out as
Lewis said police were hoping to compare DNA taken from Clark's
hair, fingernails and saliva to more than 150 pieces of evidence
collected from the crime scene. That evidence may also be compared
at a state lab with DNA samples given voluntarily from other people
with access to the crime scene.
"We're going to narrow this down," Lewis said. "We're going
to do this as quickly as we can."
Police have collected more than 700 hours of videotape and
sifted through computer records documenting who entered what parts
of the research building where Le was found dead.
Investigators began staking out Clark's home Monday, a day after
they discovered Le's body hidden in the basement of a research
building at Yale's medical school. She vanished Sept. 8.
Clark shares the apartment with his girlfriend, Jennifer
Hromadka, whom he is engaged to marry in December 2011, according
to the couple's wedding Web site.
Neither the couple nor Clark's parents returned repeated
telephone calls Tuesday.
Clark moved to Middletown from New Haven six months ago, where
he shared an apartment with his girlfriend and three cats,
according to former neighbor Taylor Goodwin, 16.
Police have said Clark is a lab technician at Yale. It's unclear
how long he worked there and Clark's supervisors would not comment
Le worked for a Yale laboratory that conducted experiments on
mice, and investigators found her body stuffed in the basement wall
of a facility that housed research animals.
Authorities had been tightlipped since Le was reported missing,
just a few days before her wedding day. Police say they have ruled
out her fiancee, a Columbia University graduate student, as a
suspect but have provided little additional information.
The Le family issued a statement Tuesday through a family
friend, the Rev. Dennis Smith, that thanked friends and the Yale
community for their support during their grieving. The family also
asked for privacy.
Officials had promised Tuesday to release an autopsy report that
would explain how Le died. But then prosecutors blocked release of
the results out of concern that it could hinder the investigation.
Keeping information secret during an investigation helps police
confront possible suspects with little-known evidence about a crime
and makes it harder for them to fabricate a cover story, said David
Zlotnick, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches law at Roger
Williams University in Bristol, R.I.
The lack of information also has led to some measure of fear at
Yale, which last dealt with a homicide in 1998 - the sensational
and still-unsolved stabbing death of 21-year-old Suzanne Jovin
about 2 miles from campus.
Yale President Richard Levin was more forthcoming to Yale
medical students, telling them Monday that police have narrowed the
number of potential suspects to a small pool because building
security systems recorded who entered the building and what times
they entered. Some 75 video surveillance cameras monitor all
New Haven police said they would restrict information even more
in coming days after an NBC producer was injured Tuesday as
reporters outside the police department pushed to surround a
spokesman during a briefing.
"That this horrible tragedy happened at all is
incomprehensible," said Le's roommate, Natalie Powers. "That it
happened to her, I think is infinitely more so. It seems completely
"Person of Interest" in Custody in Connection with Yale Murder Case
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