A 24-year-old animal technician at a Yale research facility was named a "person of interest" by New Haven police and was taken into custody in connection to the investigation of Yale graduate student Annie Le's death. While the police searched his apartment in Middletown, Raymond Clark has not been charged yet. Last night, New Haven Police Chief James Lewis said, "We took him into custody to gather evidence from his body and his person. If he cooperates he'll be released this evening." Clark was released at 3 a.m., after the police collected DNA from him.
Le, a pharmacology doctoral student, was last seen on Tuesday, September 8; friends and family were concerned because she was planning to marry her college sweetheart, Jonathan Widawsky, a Columbia graduate student, on Sunday, September 13. Instead, on Sunday, her body was found in the research building's basement, behind a wall. From the Hartford Courant:
Le was asphyxiated and her body was stuffed into a barely 2-foot-long crawl space inside the laboratory where she had gone to work on the day that she disappeared, sources told The Courant earlier Tuesday.
Police had to remove part of the wall in a laboratory to get access to the crawl space. The source said that evidence recovered from the crime scene indicated that Le was killed in a different room in the basement and then moved to a second room where the crawl space was.
The source said that only someone with intimate knowledge of the layout of the laboratory would have been able to access the crawl space.
Additionally, apparently "tiny droplets of blood were found in one of the laboratory rooms where police now believe that the slaying took place" and "investigators were able to determine relatively quickly who was in the building when Le disappeared" because of the facility's restricted access (requiring a key card).
Clark did not appear at work yesterday, nor did his fiancee, sister and brother-in-law, who also work for Yale. A source discussed reports that Clark failed polygraph tests and had scratches on his body with the NY Post, "He did not pass the polygraph test... But of course, they don't always run true anyway, especially when you're nerved up asking so many questions... He had scratches on his arm from his cat."
The New Haven Independent says that the fiancee described Clark on a MySpace page, noting he was "a bit naive, doesn’t always use the best judgement, definitly [sic] is not the best judge of character but, he is a good guy.... He has a big heart and tries to see the best in people ALL THE TIME! even when everyone else is telling him that the person is a psycho or that the person can’t be trusted. he thinks everyone deserves a second chance."