November 13th, 2009 | News, University

Bloody clothes, DNA led to Clark’s arrest

Raymond Clark III seen exiting the New Haven Superior Court in September.
Raymond Clark III seen exiting the New Haven Superior Court in September. Photo by Nora Caplan-Bricker.

Several bloody articles of clothing and DNA matches provided the evidence to charge Raymond Clark III with the murder of Annie Le GRD ’13, according to court documents released today.

In sometimes gruesome detail, the documents provide the fullest account yet of the police’s case against Clark and the investigation leading to his Sept. 17 arrest. Since that date, the documents were sealed, but a judge ruled last Friday that continuing to withhold them from the public was not justified.

According to the documents, investigators found a bloody blue T-shirt, similar to the one Clark was wearing in video surveillance at 10 Amistad St., the Yale research facility where Le was last seen Sept. 8. They also found a box of hygienic wipes on a steel pushcart outside the room where Le disappeared; an extra-large lab coat with blood stains, with DNA that matched Le and an unknown male; a blood-stained rubber glove Le had worn; Le’s white athletic sock, hidden in a ceiling, with blood and hair containing both her and Clark’s DNA; a pair of work boots labeled “Ray-C,” one of which was missing its shoelaces; and a blue short-sleeved hospital scrub similar to one worn by Clark that day.

Beth Merkin, one of the public defenders representing Clark, said evidence is still being discovered. Clark has yet to enter a plea.

“What you’re seeing here is a tiny piece of the entire investigation,” she said in a phone interview Friday. “There’s no game plan until we know what we’ve got.”

Investigators used the physical evidence gathered in 10 Amistad St. to obtain a search and seizure warrant for Clark to collect mouth swabs, body hair, fingerprints and fingernail clippings. These revealed that the unknown DNA found in the basement matched his.

Chemical testing also revealed that bloodstains had been cleaned up in several rooms in the basement, including the last room into which Le swiped her ID card.

Electronic records of keycard access swipes in the Amistad building showed Clark and Le were in the same room at the same time on the day Le went missing. Investigators also reported that they saw a scratch on Clark’s face and left bicep when they interviewed Amistad employees on Sept. 10; Clark said at the time that cats had scratched him.

On Sept. 13, authorities discovered Le’s body after smelling odor from a wall behind a toilet in a basement locker room.

Underneath her body, investigators found a bloody green ink pen, which was later found to be a match to the pen he used to sign his timesheets earlier that morning. Investigators matched blood on the pen to Le and DNA on its cap to Clark.

The disclosure comes after four news organizations, led by the Hartford Courant, filed a motion last month to make the documents public. Earlier this month, both the defense and prosecution asked the court to keep the documents sealed to ensure a fair trial and protect the privacy of Le’s family.

But last Friday, New Haven Superior Court Judge Roland Fasano ruled that releasing the court records would not interfere with Clark’s right to a fair trial. Although the defense lawyers had argued that the information would taint the pool of potential jurors, Fasano said the high level of publicity already surrounding the case makes juror bias unlikely.

Merkin said she hopes the records will not affect jury selection.

“We tried to challenge the release of more than was kept sealed, but I understand that the judge had a balancing process, and I respect whatever decision he made,” she said. “With the system the way it is, I don’t think that this is going to create a big problem.”

The lawyer for the Hartford Courant, Paul Guggina, declined to comment Friday.

Clark is being held at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Conn., on a $3 million bond. His next court appearance is set for Dec. 21.

  • Guilty as charged.

    All for making up my mind before hearing all the evidence.

  • #1

    all for *not

  • u thru

    Well written article. Clear. informative

    Sounds like Clark viewed her as just a mouse. Insignificant. Possibly going to tell on him !?!

  • jhc

    But it can’t be Ray Ray. Ask his brother who works there. Ask his brother-in-law who works there, ask his sister who works there.Auntie Ro Ro at Human services says “no way” See the sorrow on all the family pet rats that work there too

  • Of course

    Of course he did it. You’d have to be blind, deaf, and dumb to think otherwise. If he had any shred of decency left, he would cop to it and take responsibility. Zero pity for this scumbag.

  • anonymous

    #1 and #5 are clear illustrations of why they should not release evidence beforehand. If either is selected for the jury, they won’t be able to give Mr. Clark a fair trial, having already returned a verdict of guilty based on a couple of articles in the media.

    There is one clearly important piece of information missing form this entire case, which is why Mr. Clark has not yet plead guilty. That is MOTIVE. It is extremely difficult to get a guilty verdict for murder without a clear motive.

  • Garth

    You can’t put words into peoples mouths #6. You can’t judge a person by a flippant remark made on the internet.And never insult a persons intellignce. It will be up to the defense team of this Yale employee to cipher thru this evidence and beg,borrow and plead to the mercy of the court for leniency.

    Sometimes there just is’nt a motive. But i still believe that there is one here. For some reason they have not made it public. Keeping other statements of co-workers under the rug.

    If you really think about past vicious crimes you will find thousands of Murders and rapes with nary an explanation then the way the victim looked at the killer.

  • Helen Li

    There is no NEED for the prosecution to prove there is a motive as long as the accumulated evidence can convice a jury that murder is committed beyond reasonable doubt. The usual defence mounted in similar cases is that the defendant was in a “mental fog” and “lost control.” He “could not remember” clearly what happened; it “all happened in a blur,” the victim is “the really evil party,” etc. etc. We just have to hope and pray for a competent and fair trial and justice for Annie.

  • joey

    Intelligent comments by #8. Thank You.

    …and in the defense.For the sake of argument. To play Devils advocate…

    Impossible. The only thing i would suggest if i was an acting attorney is admit you did it. Apologize. Throw yourself on the mercy of the court and hope for a manslaughter charge. They might give him 20 years to life. maybe an eligibilty for parole after 20. Might factor in good time served, he’ll be in protective custody. They might be thinking about an insanity plea ,hence the silent rat treatment by Clark

    If he admits guilt he would have to be careful about premeditation. Did he ever give her a ride ? Any relationship outside of the Lab ? Following her into the room like that. Storming about the building in a possible rage

  • Helen Li

    Joey, thanks. I have worked in law enforcement and have a degree in the Administration of Justice. I have studied many cases of this nature. Don’t count on the “basic human decency” of the defendant. Don’t count on them admitting guilt and submitting themselves to the vicissitudes of the court. Most are psychopaths who cannot see past their own selfish and degenerate desires and uncontrolled emotional swings. Faking insanity, yes, and many do. Look at the Ian Huntley case. He looks remarkably like the suspect. Huntley, seven years after a horrific murder of two eight year old girls, still refused to tell the grieving parents and the authorities how exactly he killed those kids. The bodies were burnt and left in a ditch. After the girls disappeared, he joined in the search, organized town-hall meetings for the police and the community, and personally “consoled” one the victims’ father. Such deviousness and cold, calm manipulation is their usual modus operandi. The suspect in this case, I am surmising, will plead not-guilty to pre-meditated murder in the first degree. However, pre-meditation does not need to be evolved in a long span of time. It could be formed within a short few minutes. Let’s just see how it goes.

  • Anonymous

    If you read the affidavit, the evidence sounds compelling, but it can be easily argued that Clark didn’t do it. For example, the socks that were found may have been his, so why did he hide one in the ceiling, and put the other with the body? That makes no sense. Also, the time he spent in the basement after 10:40am, wasn’t there other people around? They found blood evidence in three rooms, two of which required scanning. When did he have time to move the body and hide it, clean up and change his clothing? He said he left for lunch, plus he was also seen leaving when the fire alarm went off, so that doesn’t leave much time. His green pen disappeared between the fire alarm and 3:48pm when a black pen was used to sign his initials.
    If his work clothes were left unattended in the lab area, then a good defense could argue anyone could have had access to them.

  • Helen Li

    There is a clique of people who argue first that any disclosure would taint the jury pool and make a fair trial impossible; then they pour through the released details and jump through hoops to insist that those details actually vindicate the suspect in all his innocence. Talk about bias. There are direct evidences and circumstantial evidences. If you see a man strangling a woman with your own eyes, that is direct evidence. Everything else is circumstantial, e.g., access card records showing both parties entering a room at the same time, and one party never leave the building and her body found concealed inside a crawl space.

    The affidavit will be analysed by the court and the jury, nobody but a fool would prejudge their deliberation process. The socks found in both places are atheletic socks that belonged to Annie. Why are they in two places? A criminal mind is difficult to fathom, and the alleged killer obviously hasn’t attained the precision of a professional hitman. I think we can fairly conclude that “there are not any other people around” by the nature of the crime. He worked there for almost five years, and probably know which rooms were unoccupied at any particular time. I am touched by your concern for the “time-poor” suspect. He must be a more agile fellow than you. The green pen was in the crawl space with the victim. The blood stained work clothes were hidden in the ceiling of the basement. I don’t know where you get the idea that the suspect left spare work clothes unattended for others to pinch at any moment.

    A verdict of guilt has to be proved beyond resonable doubt and that is a very high standard of proof. You may want to absolve the suspect at any cost; thankfully most people with moral and ethics will be repulsed by that kind of disrespectful and offensive twisitng and misleading of the facts to satisfy your perverse end.

  • confused

    We know that Le was strangled, so then why was there blood? And so much blood to boot? I’m surprised no one has asked this.

  • Helen Li

    I think it could be explained by the redacted parts of the affidavit. I have my conjecture, but it would be too painful to put that in black and white. Some of the arrest/search warrant details might not be admissable; but the redacted parts probably would be too vital to the case. Her family would have to endure the account being told in public during the trial. Family members in such situation sometimes have to leave the court in floods of tears, unable to listen to the grim narration of how the pitiless, savage hand of death befell their treasured child.