Yale murder: Police take lab technician into custody

Authorities issued warrants to raid the apartment of Raymond Clark III and take a DNA sample. He worked in the building where graduate student Annie Le's body was found.

By , Correspondent

Police investigating the murder of Yale graduate student Annie Le identified a “person of interest” on Tuesday night. Raymond Clark III worked in the lab where Ms. Le’s body was discovered, and police have issued two warrants to search his apartment and to collect DNA samples.

Police took Mr. Clark into custody, though they say if he cooperates he will be released. Authorities say they by the end of the week he will be either arrested or exonerated.

While authorities believe the killer likely worked in the lab with Le, they say they are expanding their search to ensure they are not overlooking others who may have had access to the lab. Meanwhile, a number of lab workers have voluntarily given the authorities samples of their DNA. Police have nearly 150 items that they took from the crime scene along with 700 hours of surveillance footage.

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New Haven Police Chief James Lewis told the Associated Press that, “We're going to narrow this down. … We're going to do this as quickly as we can."

Authorities where also supposed to release an autopsy report on Tuesday that would explain how Le died. The report, however, was withheld at the request of prosecutors who said that its release could interfere with their investigation, reports ABC news.

While Clark has not been charged with anything, he has been a focus for investigators since at least Monday. A Yale student who knew him described him as “very unsociable.” The New York Times reports that before being taken into custody, Clark had not been at work for several days. According to his colleagues, Clark was often hard on other lab workers, particularly graduate students.

The researcher said Mr. Clark was “very officious and very demanding” and that Mr. Clark had given some graduate students a hard time.
“For example, you’re supposed to wear shoe covers on your feet, and he would make a big deal of it, instead of just requesting that they wear them,” said the researcher, who asked not to be identified. “I told his supervisor.”

Le was supposed to be married on the day her body was found. Initially, her fiancé, a graduate student at Columbia University was a suspect, but authorities have since ruled him out.

Shortly after authorities took Clark into custody, Le’s family made an official statement, reports USA Today. It is the first time the family has spoken out since the murder.

“The entire Yale community as well as our extended families and friends have been very supportive, helpful and caring," said Dennis Smith, a local pastor and family friend. "Our loss would have been immeasurably more difficult to cope with without their support."

[Editor's note: The subhead in an earlier version of this story misstated the suspect's name.]

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