‘Person of interest’ released by police after giving DNA samples

By Calvin Palmer

Animal laboratory technician Raymond Clark III, described as a “person of interest” in the killing of Yale University doctoral student Annie Le, has been released from police custody after providing DNA samples.

Police today served two additional warrants for more items from Clark’s Middletown apartment and for his red Ford Mustang.

Investigators will determine in the next couple of days whether Clark, 24, should be charged in the killing of Le.

New Haven police chief James Lewis said Clark and several other people are under constant police surveillance. He said police expect to seek an arrest warrant for anyone whose DNA matches evidence at the crime scene.

Clark’s attorney, David Dworski, said his client is “committed to proceeding appropriately with the authorities”. He would not give further details.

The body of 24-year-old Le was discovered on Sunday stuffed behind the wall of the basement where lab animals are kept at a research laboratory in the Yale Medical School complex. She had been missing since last Tuesday.

The Connecticut state medical examiner said today that Le died of “traumatic asphyxiation”, which would be consistent with a choke hold or some other form of pressure-induced asphyxiation caused by a hand or an object.

The Le case has some parallels to the 1998 murder of 21-year-old Suzanne Jovin about 2 miles from the Yale campus. The case is still unsolved.

In that case, a professor was named as a suspect early in the investigation and was later fired. He was never charged, and authorities never presented evidence against him.

Without mentioning Jovin’s name, Lewis referred to the case today while defending his department’s handling of Le’s death.

“We don’t want to be in the future accused of tunnel vision and saying that we focused on one person and only one person,” Lewis said.

[Based on reports by the Hartford Courant and Associated Press.]

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