A lawyer for the Greenwich, Connecticut, town worker accused of taking and sharing photos of a murder victim found this week has revealed more about the discovery of the body in a suitcase along Glenville Road in the upscale community about an hour from New York City.
Lindy Urso is representing the highway worker who has been placed on administrative leave after he allegedly took photos of the victim, since identified as 24-year-old Valerie Reyes, and shared them. The Greenwich Time identified the worker as James Clifford, a Department of Public Works foreman.
In a phone interview, Urso confirmed recent reports that Clifford was not the first to discover the suitcase on Tuesday morning. The lawyer said that two of Clifford’s subordinates, who were cleaning up trash along the road, first noticed the suitcase.
“They realized something wasn’t right about it,” Urso said, indicating that the suitcase was unusually heavy. Urso also said that the workers may have seen something suspicious through a zipper opening on the suitcase, and speculated that the suitcase may not have been completely closed.
“They suspected it might be a body,” Urso said. The workers then reportedly contacted Clifford to alert him.
Urso said it was his client who opened the suitcase and made the grisly discovery. Clifford reportedly took only one photo of the victim, and sent it via text to his supervisors. Urso insisted that Clifford did not share the photo on social media or distribute it widely. Clifford contacted police shortly after the discovery, Urso said.
The lawyer provided more details about the location of the suitcase when it was discovered. Urso said that it was set back from the road a bit, and not far from a six-foot stone wall.
“Had the person or persons managed to throw it over the wall, it may have never been found,” Urso said, explaining that the woods beyond the wall are private property that does not see a lot of foot traffic.
Law enforcement officials have not yet released the victim’s cause of death, and said that a confirmation could take several weeks. No suspects or persons of interest have been identified.
Urso said that he feels confident his client will not face criminal charges, and that he will likely not be terminated from his job. Clifford is currently on paid administrative leave, his lawyer said.
CrimeOnline will continue to update the story as more information becomes available.