NEW HAVEN, Connecticut—As hordes of FBI agents and Yale police combed the basement of a Yale University laboratory building for missing bride-to-be Annie Le, the man accused of killing her moved among them, in an apparent effort to cover his tracks, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said.
That behavior aroused investigators' suspicions about Raymond Clark III, but the final piece that led to his arrest Thursday morning was the discovery that evidence in the ceiling and in the crawl space where Le's body was found contained the DNA of both Le and Clark, according to the law enforcement official who spoke to The Courant on the condition of anonymity.
One investigator, among a group of investigators who were in the lab interviewing employees and students shortly after Le disappeared, witnessed Clark trying to hide lab cleaning equipment that they discovered contained blood spatters. Clark was observed cleaning up areas that Le was in before she was reported missing, the law enforcement official said.
A Superior Court judge Thursday granted New Haven State's Attorney Michael Dearington's request to keep secret the arrest warrant affidavit detailing the crime scene that was the site of Le's final moments.
But sources familiar with the investigation said it was a combination of analyzing computer records of security cards that showed Clark was the last person to see Le alive, his failed polygraph and scratches on his body, his attempts to clean up the crime scene and ultimately the DNA match in two places that led to his arrest.
Police believe that Le fought for her life.
Investigators found a single bead from a necklace she was wearing in the lab area where she was last seen. They also found tiny blood droplets in that area.
Clark also had scratches and bruises on his arms and back. When he was interviewed by FBI agents, Clark said the scratches were cuts from a cat and from playing softball.
The sources said authorities are investigating whether Clark got some of them when he allegedly stuffed Le's body into the crawl space where she was found five days after she disappeared.
Police believe that Clark tried to clean up the crime scene after disposing of Le's body, sources said. The computer record of his movements between laboratories using his swipe card show he left the building several times and also moved between several rooms, including some that he had no reason to be in, a source said.
Authorities arrested Clark during a police sweep Thursday morning at the Super 8 hotel in Cromwell where he had been staying since Wednesday.
Late Tuesday night, police searched Clark's Middletown apartment and collected hair, fingernail and saliva samples from him. Clark cooperated and was released to his attorney.
Sources said Clark did not give a statement to police. Clark maintained that same silence when a bail commissioner tried to interview him before his arraignment Thursday in Superior Court in New Haven.
Judicial marshals led a leg-shackled Clark, who was wearing a striped polo shirt and tan pants, into the courtroom filled with journalists. Neither Le's family nor members of Clark's family appeared to be in the gallery.
The muscular Clark, a former high school athlete, looked pale and said, "Yes sir," softly when Judge Jon C. Blue asked if he had been read his rights.
The bail commissioner told the judge that Clark does not have any prior criminal history, and based on that, she recommended that Clark's bail be reduced to $1 million. Beth Merkin, Clark's public defender, asked the judge to adopt the bail commissioner's recommendation.
She said Clark refused to answer the bail commissioner's questions under the advice of his attorney.
But Blue kept Clark's bail at $3 million, citing the serious nature of the case.