Sat, Sep 19, 2009 - Page 7 News List

Technician charged in Yale workplace murder

‘CONTROL FREAK’:A lab technician who reprimanded researchers for not wearing shoe covers or cleaning up cages has been charged in a graduate student’s murder


The Connecticut medical examiner said on Wednesday that Le died of “traumatic asphyxiation,” which could indicate a choke hold or some other form of suffocation caused by a hand or an object such as a pipe.

Investigators focused on Clark early in the investigation and searched his apartment on Tuesday, when they labeled him a person of interest. He remained under constant surveillance after he was released early on Wednesday and found a room at the Super 8 motel in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Clark was arrested at about 8am on Thursday. Details of the warrant remained sealed.

Yale President Richard Levin released a statement shortly after the arrest, saying Clark’s employment history raised no suspicions.

“This incident could have happened in any city, in any university or in any workplace. It says more about the dark side of the human soul than it does about the extent of security measures,” Levin said in a message sent to the Yale community.

The family of Le’s fiance, Jonathan Widawsky, issued a statement on Thursday, thanking people who were involved in preparations for “a wedding that was not to be.”

Brian Garnett, a spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Correction, confirmed that Clark was being held on Thursday night at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution, a high-security facility in Suffield, about 32km north of Hartford.

Garnett said it was unclear whether Clark would remain there until his next scheduled court date on Oct. 6.

“We share in the grief of the family of Annie Le and are, collectively, doing our best to deal with our tragic loss,” said the family’s statement, which concluded: “Annie will live in our hearts forever.”

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