POLICE DETAIN YALE EMPLOYEE SUSPECTED IN KILLING

Warrants were issued Tuesday night to search the home of a 24-year-old Yale animal technician who is a suspect in the killing of Annie Le GRD ’13 and to obtain a DNA sample, the New Haven Police Department announced at a hastily convened press conference tonight.

Raymond Clark III, 24, worked in the same laboratory as Le, whose body was found in the basement of 10 Amistad St. on Sunday. Clark was not arrested and will be released once physical evidence has been obtained, NHPD Chief James Lewis said.

Raymond Clark III, 24, is seen in an undated photograph from his MySpace profile.
Raymond Clark III, 24, is seen in an undated photograph from his MySpace profile.
New Haven Police Chief James Lewis addressed the media at a press conference Tuesday night. Lewis announced that a search warrant had been served to Raymond Clark III.
Eva Galvan
New Haven Police Chief James Lewis addressed the media at a press conference Tuesday night. Lewis announced that a search warrant had been served to Raymond Clark III.
Police stood sentry outside the Middletown, Conn., apartment complex throughout the day on Tuesday.
Police stood sentry outside the Middletown, Conn., apartment complex throughout the day on Tuesday.
Police removed Raymond Clark III from this Middletown, Conn., apartment building Tuesday night.
Police removed Raymond Clark III from this Middletown, Conn., apartment building Tuesday night.

At about 10:25 p.m., as the press conference was underway, Clark was brought out of his apartment in Middletown, Conn., in handcuffs and was taken away in a police car. Law enforcement officials had staked out Clark’s apartment for much of Monday and Tuesday.

Sources familiar with the investigation said Monday that Clark was among several individuals on whom the authorities were focusing in their search for Le’s killer, but police officials insisted throughout the day Tuesday that they had not formally declared any suspects in the case. (The News withheld his name becasue he had not officially been declared a suspect in the case.)

Neither Clark — nor a sister and brother-in-law who also work as animal technicians at Yale — showed up for work at Yale laboratories this morning, according to two people who work with them. By the end of the day, several news outlets had published his name and picture and labeled him a “person of interest” in the case.

Law enforcement officials focused their efforts on the narrow pool of people who had access to the basement and who may have encountered Le after she entered the building at 10 a.m. last Tuesday, University President Richard Levin said at a meeting of the medical school community Monday afternoon. Access to the basement area where her corpse was found is a restricted to certain specially authorized individuals who must use their Yale identification cards to access the floor.

Joe Avery, a spokesman for the New Haven Police Department, said the remains were discovered in a chase in the basement, a kind of shaft that provides room for mechanical equipment to travel from the roof to the basement of the 120,000-square-foot building. Police had been operating on the assumption that the murderer acted deliberately, Avery explained.

“We are not looking at it as if it is a random act,” he said.

Authorities first learned of Le’s disappearance when a roommate reported her missing at about 9 p.m. on Sept. 8, Yale Police Department Chief James Perrotti said. The police quickly began investigating the matter and learned that she took a Yale Transit bus from her apartment at 188 Lawrence St. to her office at the Sterling Hall of Medicine early Tuesday morning.

Later in the morning, she walked from that office to 10 Amistad St., leaving her purse, cell phone and wallet behind. She took her Yale identification card with her, and the surveillance footage shows her carrying another object as she entered the building. Officials have not said what she was carrying

At 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday, a fire alarm sounded in the building. The special agent in charge of the FBI in Connecticut, Kimberly Mertz, said at a press conference Saturday that the alarm was caused by a release of steam from a laboratory hood. She said it was possible that the steam was intentionally released by a person.

On Sunday, after lead investigators arrived at Amistad Street in the morning, dogs from the Connecticut State Police were seen entering the building. The bloodhounds had been part of the search since Thursday, as had more than 100 law enforcement officials from the various agencies.

There was no immediate statement following the announcement from Le’s family, nor from fiance Jonathan Widawsky, whom Le was supposed to marry Sunday.

Comments

  • Yalie

    If he is indeed the murderer, may justice be swift and merciless.

  • justice

    whoever did this will rot in hell

  • Anon GRD ’13

    I hope that this doesn’t turn into a witch hunt. I would prefer to know who really committed the crime over getting blood out of it. It’s easy to pin this kind of thing on a tech but the crime itself really speaks to someone with an ego, doesn’t it?

    Also, I thought that everyone in those labs had another paid day off today? How can they not report to work when they worked in a lab that had a day off? Can someone clear this up for me?

  • Richard

    Some people believe very strongly in coincidence, while others feel sure that there are no coincidences in life.

    The time of 12:40 pm has been noted as being the recorded time of the ( steam generated or false ) fire alarm. People who are very familiar with some of Yale’s architecture will note that in an alcove of Sterling Sheffield Strathcona or SSS, there is a carved in stone image of a grandfather clock with the hands showing 12:40 or twenty minutes before the hour of 1:00.

    This time will occur twice per day on an analog clock like a grandfather model. Those who are familiar with Yale lore will also note that these gift of choice among many older members of the infamous Skull & Bones society is the grandfather clock. That carving in the stone work at SSS has been there for a very long, obviously.

    Perhaps the time signature on that once only false fire alarm was very much coincidental. Perhaps it was not at all a coincidence.

  • elle

    So sad. Hopefully this will bring some closure to her family and fiance.

    More info on the crime scene and cause of death can be found on the Hartford Courant.
    http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/yale-annie-le/hc-annie-le-autopsy-yale-student-murdered-cause-of,0,4101796.story

    Let’s hope police have detained the killer and that he confesses soon to spare the family any more heartache.

  • Craig

    This is very sad news.

  • yalealum

    10 Amistad St. should eventually be renamed in memory of Annie Le MED ’13. It’s the least the administration could do.

  • Christopher Stratton

    Does the News have information from NHPD sources that Mr. Clark is a SUSPECT? WVIT-30 and WFSB-3 both emphatically stated on their 11 pm newscasts just now that per NHPD he is NOT, as yet, a suspect, and that he is not yet under arrest and will not be arrested tonight so long as he complies with the search warrant by providing a sample of his DNA.

    You’re doing an excellent job covering this story. Please make sure you’re not misstating facts on this point. Details matter!

    Best wishes,

    Christopher Stratton, CC alum
    West Hartford, CT

  • just thinking

    The basement area was restricted to those with suitable ID cards? This is meaningless if there’s no video – people who don’t have cards slip in all the time behind others who have used their card.

  • Sara

    I thought he wasn’t being called a suspect yet….

  • ’09 Alum

    I don’t think they need to rename the building after her… I think that’s going a bit far. I do think think Levin or someone should make an announcement to shut down this rumor mill that’s going on with Fox and HLN News. I’ve had complete strangers ask me why Yale hires murderers, why there was a “meth lab” on campus, why she got killed for writing that article etc. It’s desecration to Annie Le and to Yale and it’s a freakin’ free-for-all. Yalies should be allowed to grieve in peace/ without harassment, and the media should let the police investigate without spewing pain and rumors.

  • Alum

    Renaming the building the “Annie Le” building is the dumbest idea I have ever heard.

    Her memory can be honored in other more positive ways, besides having every single world-famous researcher who comes to Yale’s Stem Cell Institute (which is housed there) constantly asking about the girl who was murdered there.

    Name the Amistad building after a donor, and using part of those proceeds to establish a few scholarships for budding young scientists in New Haven or in the Asian-American community more broadly, would be a much more fitting honor.

    BTW, the NH Independent reported that the suspect had prior convictions for traffic offenses. Is that true? Violent aggressive behavior and domestic violence sometimes go hand in hand.

  • further thinking for #9

    @ #9. The swipecard system also doesn’t record when people leave restricted areas, only when they enter.

    Hopefully this will be a clean cut investigation rather than similar to the Jovin case which ruined the life of the accused professor but remains unsolved.

    I hope everyone in the Yale community is intelligent and level-headed enough during these tough times to remember that people are innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

  • Spiny Norman

    @1: Justice cannot exist without mercy. The word you’re looking for is vengeance.

  • Paul

    If this is the guy,he deserves what he will get. But no matter what happens to him it will not bring Annie back. An eye for an eye in this instance is not justice.

  • Scott Larabee

    I wonder why would anyone suggest that Annie Le and Raymond Clark were having an affair, there is no evidence supporting these claims!

  • ByStander

    They’re suggesting an affair because they have to establish some kind of motive or a reason as to why a normal guy would go off the deep end. I’m surprised no one came out with the jealous fiancee theory. Maybe she saw them together and there was an ugly confrontation. Remember she works at the lab and has access as well…

  • A Reader

    This guy looks nuts in the photograph from his Myspace page. There is something sinister-looking about him. He looks creepy.

  • anon

    Why hasn’t anyone who has had any interaction with him spoken up on his behalf? Are we only left to speculate what his character is based soley on the beady-eyed myspace photo?

  • Ben Huang SAY 76

    Can the university award her degree posthumously?

  • SpragueStephens

    What a mystery. This looks like a total crime of “passion”. This was a dis-organized type killer. Probably not pre-meditated because the killer would never have done this in the middle of the day in a busy office setting with so many people around. This was his first murder. I do believe that there was some sort of relationship between Clark and Le and they had a confrontation about something “passionate” in the basement and he went off and choked her to death. He then panicked tried to cover it up as much as possible. Hid his clothes in the ceiling, put her in the wall, tried to clean up as best he could. Then he planned the fire alarm.(This had to be his action). I would think to get everyone out of the building so he could do a mass cover-up with noone around and also create confusion for the authorities later on when they looked at log in and camera systems. I bet when they let everyone back in from the fire alarm that hardly anyone at all used their ID cards to get back into the building it probably was a mass hold the door open kind of thing. Annie couldn’t have planned to have been gone very long probably just to drop off whatever she was carrying. No young girl leaves there wallet, purse, and especially cell phone behind for too long. The murder probably accured before 10:45am. Do you think her and Clark had an affair going on? Or was he just stalking her and was he obsessed? Or both?

  • M.T.

    Oh for Gods sake…he doesn’t look any more creepy than your brother probably..you sound like one of those teen girls in the movies..’ewww, yech, he looks creepy!!!’
    He looks like any other young adult male trying to look ‘macho and serious’ or whatever…get a life!

  • keep kool

    doesn’t matter how creepy he looks, he still deserves the benefit of the doubt – innocent til proven guilty. he might be born with that look and not as lucky as some of us who “look” nice but that does not mean he is guilty. I feel very bad for AL and her family but what if “people” are using him as scapegoat? So, let’s wait until the DNA results come back. If he is innocent he surely needs a damn good lawyer to get him out of this if people try to pin this murder on him, and if he is guilty, may justice be served! We don’t want to ruin a young man’s life through speculation!

  • Toronto

    This is an absolute monster. The dirt inside him shows in his face. The timings of the swipe cards, the marks on his chest, his suspicious past and current behavior (not volunteering to give his DNA while everyone else with access to the basement was doing so) and the complaints from his neighbors about his erratic behavior not to mention his abusive behavior towards his ex-girlfriend all point to his culpability in this horror. Being a lab tech whose job it was to take care of and clean the cages of the mice, how dare he ask Annie Le to take care of them? He is a sick and foolish person and a violent monster. May God give rest to Annie Le’s soul, which was so eager to spread her innermost love to the whole world and to do good for all human beings. We don’t have too many of those kinds of people in this world.