HARLEM, N.Y. (CBS 2) — There are new clues Thursday morning in the case of a disturbing discovery in East Harlem.
Police are searching for a man who was recorded in a surveillance video on a darkened street wheeling a suitcase that later was found stuffed with a strangled woman’s body, a block away from the famed Rao’s Restaurant.
Late Wednesday evening, police released the video. As CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reports, police are sure he is the man who put the murdered woman inside the suitcase, which was discovered by a passer-by rummaging through the trash outside a building on East 114th Street.
On the video, the man with the suitcase takes his time to check the street out. People told Guzman that around 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, the man seemed to be waiting for people to leave the corner where Rao’s is, at the end of the block.
When the man thought no one was looking, he walked with the suitcase to the garbage waiting for collection in front of 435 East 114th, about four doors down from Rao’s.
Police sources said the victim is 28-year-old Betty Williams from the Bronx. The Medical Examiner says whoever killed her strangled her to death.
“Our investigative premise [is] that the body was brought there and left at that location, rather than the murder happening in the immediate vicinity,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told Guzman.
Residents meanwhile believe that the suspect must not be from around the neighborhood.
“My husband works at the restaurant. You have this, you know, very busy restaurant. No way that he was walking up here; I think he just got scared and dropped it,” Shelby Kimber, a longtime resident of East Harlem, said.
When told about the murder, Frederic Larrieu, who just moved to the neighborhood, said it was a complete shock.
“Yeah, you see it in the movies. A lady in a suitcase? You kidding me? What kind of guy can do that,” Larrieu said.
Police are wondering the same thing.