Updated: 12:11 p.m. Police sought DNA samples from the fiancée of Raymond Clark III, who pleaded not guilty in January to the murder of Annie Le GRD ’13, because they thought her DNA might match traces found at the crime scene, according to documents released today.
The fiancée, Jennifer Hromadka, has not been a suspect in the investigation, her attorney, Robert Berke, said in December. But police requested her DNA on Nov. 25 in hopes of determining whether it matched an unknown female DNA sample found in Clark’s apartment and on the inside of a bloody green pen at the crime scene, according to the search warrant just released.
As of November, the document said, the sample could not be “eliminated” as a possible contributor to the mixture of DNA found on one of Le’s white athletic socks, which was hidden in a ceiling of the Yale research facility at 10 Amistad St., where Le’s body was discovered Sept. 13.
Berke said he did not know whether Hromadka’s DNA matched any traces found in the crime scene or whether she was now considered a suspect in the case.
Joseph Lopez, one of Clark’s defense lawyers, said he does not believe DNA testing for the investigation has been completed and does not know whether Hromadka is a suspect. He added that because they have been dating, their DNA most likely would be found together in various places.
“All DNA can tell you is if someone came into contact with something,” Lopez said. “[The warrant] really hasn’t changed anything in the case.”
According to documents released in December, surveillance videos from the day Le disappeared show Hromadka meeting Clark shortly after he left 10 Amistad St. on Sept. 8, the day Le was reported missing. After sitting at a table on the corner of Congress Avenue and Cedar Street, Clark entered a nearby café and left a few minutes later with Hromadka, also a Yale lab technician, and an unidentified woman. The three left for Clark’s apartment in a 1999 red Ford Taurus. Police later searched the Taurus and found parts of the car stained with blood.
According to the search warrant, Hromadka did not use her electronic key card to access 10 Amistad St. between Sept. 8 to 13, while police searched for Le’s body. But police said “it is not uncommon” for employees assigned to work there to follow behind others entering the building.
A secretary at Hromadka’s workplace, Yale’s Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at 295 Congress Ave., said this morning that Hromadka was not in the building and would not speak to reporters.
Hromadka, as well as Clark’s sister, Denise Kent, and his brother-in-law, Shawn Kent, did not show up for work two days before Clark was arrested on Sept. 17, a person who works with Clark told the News at the time. But Hromadka and the Kents were back at work in the same positions, Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Michael Peel said in November.
Administrators felt obliged to help Hromadka and the Kents return to their normal work routines, Peel said, adding that the three have not been accused of any wrongdoing.
The search warrant, which New Haven Superior Court Judge Roland Fasano ordered last week to be released today, was the last one left to be made public.
Clark, whose job as a Yale animal lab technician has been suspended, is currently being held on a $3 million bond the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Conn. His next pre-trial court date is scheduled for April 7.