NEW HAVEN, Connecticut—Police arrested Raymond Clark III this morning at a motel in Cromwell and charged him with murdering Yale graduate student Annie Le, whose body was found stuffed into a 2-foot crawl space behind a wall in a Yale laboratory building on Sunday.
Cromwell and New Haven police sat quietly in the Super 8 motel parking lot on Route 372 through Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.
Clark, a Yale lab technician, had been staying at the motel since Wednesday. Late Tuesday night, police took Clark from his Middletown apartment to collect a DNA sample and released him to his attorney.
Andrew Grocki, 49, of Newington, was in the lobby of the motel to meet someone on business when he saw the team of law enforcement officers come in the rear door of the motel and go up the back stairs. An officer prevented anyone from going up the stairs, Grocki said. About 10 minutes later, they brought Clark down in handcuffs. He was wearing a striped white golf shirt.
Clark looked "just somber. Head down," Grocki said.
Four officers surrounded Clark and escorted him out a back door and into an unmarked vehicle with tinted windows.
At a press conference in New Haven, Police Chief James Lewis said an arrest warrant was signed around 8:10 a.m. for Clark. Bail was set at $3 million and the arrest warrant has been sealed, Lewis said.
He was arraigned in Superior Court in New Haven shortly after 10:30 a.m. Clark was brought in to the courtroom wearing leg shackles. He looked pale, and when Judge Jon C. Blue asked if he had been read his rights, Clark said "Yes, sir."
The bail commissioner told the judge that Clark does not have any prior criminal history, and based on that, he recommended Clark's bail be dropped to $1 million. Beth Merkin, Clark's public defender, asked the judge to adopt the bail commissioner's recommendation. She said Clark refused to answer the bail commissioner's questions about his prior criminal history under the advice of his attorney.
But Blue kept Clark's bail at $3 million, citing the serious nature of the case.
Blue then transferred the case to the Part A courtroom in New Haven, where more serious cases are heard. The case was continued to Oct. 6.
It did not appear that there were any family members -- either of Clark or Le -- in the courtroom.
At 10:40 a.m., members of the public and the media watched judicial marshals load Clark onto a prisoner van. Some jeered as the van pulled away.
Nora Stowers of New Haven watched as Clark was taken away. She said her nephew went to high school with Clark and that he was an "all-American boy," or "the boy next door."
Because the arrest warrant is sealed, Lewis said at the press conference, he could not discuss its contents. But he said police interviewed about 150 people and sifted through nearly 300 pieces of evidence.
In his request to seal the arrest warrant affidavit, New Haven State's Attorney Michael Dearington wrote that the investigation is continuing and that release of the documents "could be adversely affected by disclosure of the affidavit at this time."
Yale University Police Chief James Perrotti, FBI Special Agent Kim Mertz and Public Safety Commissioner John A. Danaher stood by Lewis as he spoke.
Lewis said reports that Le and Clark had a relationship are false. He also declined to answer a reporter's question about whether Clark had complained about Le's treatment of animals, which had been reported in at least one publication. Without discussing details of the warrant, Lewis have a hint about what type of crime it was.