Lab tech released from custody in Yale killing

(AP) - Police released a Yale University animalresearch technician on Wednesday after collecting DNA samples andquestioning him in the killing of a graduate student who worked inthe same lab. Raymond

News 12 Staff

Sep 16, 2009, 5:21 PM

Updated 5,324 days ago

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Lab tech released from custody in Yale killing
(AP) - Police released a Yale University animalresearch technician on Wednesday after collecting DNA samples andquestioning him in the killing of a graduate student who worked inthe same lab. Raymond Clark III was taken into custody Tuesday night at hisapartment in Middletown, Conn., and was released into the custodyof his attorney early Wednesday, New Haven police said. Investigators are hoping to figure out within days whether Clarkcan be ruled out as the killer. Clark's attorney, David Dworski, of Fairfield, said Wednesdayhis client is "committed to proceeding appropriately with theauthorities." He would not comment further. Police left the apartment Wednesday morning after searching thescene for hours overnight looking for evidence in the killing ofAnnie Le. Clark has been described as a person of interest, not a suspect,in Le's death. Her body was found stuffed behind a wall in thelaboratory Sunday, which was to have been her wedding day. Clark and and his fiancee, Jennifer Hromadka were both animalresearch technicians in the lab where Le worked. Hromadka wrote on her MySpace page that she's not perfect, butcautioned people not to judge her. "Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I'm not perfectand I don't live to be, but before you start pointing fingers makesure your hands are clean!!" the 23-year-old wrote. The date of the MySpace posting is unclear. The page has sincebeen taken down. Overnight, state police officers sorted through items on a cardtable set up outside Clark's ground-floor apartment's door. A tow truck took away a red Ford Mustang neighbors say was usedby Clark. A resident of the complex, Rick Tarallo said he, his wife and6-month-old daughter live in a unit next to Clark and his fiancee,Jennifer Hromadka. He said the couple was "really quiet" and lived with an olderman, whom he speculated was one of their fathers. "He seemed like a good guy," Tarallo said of Clark. "Theydidn't strike me as someone who would try to kill somebody." Police started tearing down the yellow crime scene tape asdaylight broke. At that point there had been no sign of Clark'sreturn to his apartment, and neighbors said they hadn't seenHromadka in the area for days. Loraine Falcon, 32, a nurse aid who lives in Clark's building,said the police activity kept her and her three kids - ages 15, 10and 8 - up much of the night and left her fearful for their safety. "I just want to know if he did it," Falcon said. Clark's apartment appeared empty Wednesday morning after policeleft. No one answered the door. The brown flowered doormatremained. During the search, one officer commented that the apartmentsmelled like animals. Multiple neighbors said they saw Clark andHromadka load luggage, cats and two rodents into a vehicle onSaturday. Falcon said she also saw Clark loading a suitcase and a duffelbag into a car Sunday at about 5 p.m. New Haven Police Chief James Lewis said police were hoping tocompare DNA taken from Clark's hair, fingernails and saliva to morethan 150 pieces of evidence collected from the crime scene. Thatevidence may also be compared at a state lab with DNA samples givenvoluntarily from other people with access to the crime scene. "We're going to narrow this down," Lewis said. "We're goingto do this as quickly as we can." Police have collected more than 700 hours of videotape andsifted through computer records documenting who entered what partsof the research building where Le was found dead. Le worked for a Yale laboratory that conducted experiments onmice, and investigators found her body stuffed in the basement wallof a facility that housed research animals. In addition to Clark and Hromadka, Clark's sister andbrother-in-law were also technicians at Yale's Animal ResourcesCenter, according to Yale records. On Tuesday, state prosecutors blocked the release of Le'sautopsy results, reasoning that they could hinder theirinvestigation. The Connecticut medical examiner had already calledthe death a homicide but hadn't reported the manner of Le's death.


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