STAMFORD, Conn. – Police arrested a suspect Sunday in the death of a Greenwich, Conn., woman who was stabbed in the hallway of a Stamford hotel.
The woman, Layla R. Banks, 21, had been repeatedly stabbed and slashed before her body was discovered just after 6 a.m. Saturday in a service hallway near the Sheraton Stamford Hotel's main lobby, police said. She was killed early Saturday shortly after leaving a raucous party in one of the guest rooms, police said.
Investigators believed the attack was not random and had been looking for another party-goer to interview, Stamford police Lt. Sean Cooney said.
Sheraton security officials called police around 6:20 a.m. after finding the woman's body in the hallway, which leads to the hotel's kitchens and employee-only areas.
Officers discovered evidence of a struggle and a great deal of blood at the scene, but determined she had not been robbed or sexually assaulted by her attacker, Cooney said. Police would not say whether they recovered a weapon.
Banks was last seen leaving a raucous party in a third-floor hotel room earlier Saturday, police said. However, the four people still in the room when police arrived early Saturday were so intoxicated that getting reliable information from them was difficult, Cooney said.
"It is our theory that this woman was there specifically for this party, and we believe a lot of people came and went through the night," he said.
The man identified as a "person of interest," with whom Banks was acquainted, had also attended the party and left before her body was discovered. Officers do not know if they left together, Cooney said.
Her mother, Florence Banks, told The Advocate newspaper of Stamford that her daughter told a friend Friday she had planned to break up with her boyfriend over the weekend.
"This has not sunk in yet," Banks told the newspaper. "I am expecting her to walk through the door."
Layla Banks was a 2004 graduate of Trinity Catholic High School. She planned to study graphics at Norwalk Community College and was a receptionist the Indian Harbor Yacht Club, her mother said.
Police are rarely called to the Sheraton Stamford Hotel for anything other than routine matters, Cooney said, adding that managers were helpful and cooperative as investigators sealed off the area in the midst of the morning checkout rush.
The 448-room hotel also has more than 30 meeting rooms and was preparing to host at least one wedding and other events Saturday.
Maurizio Bonivento, the hotel's general manager, said Saturday they are working closely with Stamford police, and that their guests and employees can be confident in their safety and security there.