It didn't take police long to pinpoint a suspect in the grisly murder of Annie Le, the 24-year-old Yale graduate student found dead in a research lab Sept. 13 the day she was supposed to be married. Almost immediately, suspicion congealed around Raymond Clark, 24, a technician with access to Le's lab, who had reportedly entered the building as many as 10 times the day she disappeared and bore suspicious wounds on his chest, arms and back. Clark was arrested Sept. 17 and charged with murder. As investigators soon learned, there was little in his past that foreshadowed the charges.
Clark grew up in a rented gray house in a working-class Connecticut neighborhood, according to the New York Times.
Clark's family eventually moved to a condominium in Cromwell, Conn., north of Middletown, where Clark's mother works at Walmart, according to the Times.
As a student at Branford High School in Branford, Conn., Clark joined the Interact Club, which focused on such community problems as homelessness, and the Asian Awareness Club. He also played quarterback for the football team and pitched for the baseball team.
In 2003, when Clark was a high school senior, his then girlfriend told police he had forced her to have sex with him and "confronted" her when she said she wanted to break up, according to the New Haven Independent. She reportedly did not press charges.
Clark has been a lab technician at Yale since December 2004. His duties included cleaning the cages of lab rodents, a job that may have brought him into contact with Le, who used mice in her research. "His supervisor reports that nothing in the history of his employment at the university gave an indication that his involvement in such a crime might be possible," said Yale president Richard Levin in a statement to the campus community Sept. 17.
Clark moved away from New Haven, where Yale is located, six months ago, and now shares an apartment with his girlfriend and three cats, according to his former neighbor, Taylor Goodwin, 16. They live in Middletown, Conn., about 30 miles northeast of New Haven.
Clark and his girlfriend, Jennifer Hromadka, reportedly plan to marry in December 2011, according to a post on the couple's wedding website, which has since been taken down.
"We are relieved and encouraged by this progress in the investigation, but, of course, we must resist the temptation to rush to judgment until a full and fair prosecution of this case brings a just resolution."
Yale president Richard Levin, in a statement to the Yale community about Clark's arrest, Sept. 17, 2009
"He was a nice kid. I mean, he was a jokester, kind of like a class clown. Everybody knew him. Everybody liked him."
Lisa Heselin, a high school friend of Clark's, CNN, Sept. 16, 2009
"He is a bit naive, doesn't always use the best judgment, definitely is not the best judge of character, but he is a good guy."
Jennifer Hromadka, Clark's girlfriend, reportedly in a post on her MySpace page, 2008