A New Jersey man who had previously been charged with kidnapping his own son is now also charged with murdering the child’s mother, New Jersey officials announced Thursday.
Tyler Rios, 27, of Highland Park, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Yasemin Uyar, 24, the Union County prosecutor’s office said in a press release. Rios had previously been accused of kidnapping Uyar and their 2-year-old son, Sebastian Rios, resulting in a nationwide Amber Alert last week.
Sebastian was found with his father early Saturday morning at the Bethel Inn Hotel off Interstate 40 in Monterey, Tennessee, according to the Putnam County sheriff’s office. The child was unharmed, and Tyler Rios was taken into custody without incident, the Union County prosecutor’s office said.
Later that day, Rios led authorities to Uyar’s body, which was found in a nearby wooded area.
“An autopsy performed on Uyar revealed her manner of death to be homicide,” Union County said.
The Putnam County sheriff’s office confirmed to Law&Crime that Sebastian has been reunited with Uyar’s family members and is safe.
Multiple law enforcement units worked to identify Rios as the suspect, the Union County prosecutor’s office said.
“An investigation led by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office – and assisted by members of the FBI’s Newark Field Office and satellite offices, the New Jersey State Police, and the Rahway Police Department – led to Rios being identified as a suspect in the case after Sebastian Rios did not show up for daycare last Friday and Uyar did not arrive for scheduled work shifts,” the prosector’s statement said. “A welfare check was conducted on Uyar’s home by members of the Rahway Police Department, but no one was found inside.”
Union County officials said that Rios is still in custody in Tennessee “pending extradition back to New Jersey, after which a first appearance and detention hearing will be scheduled to take place in Union County Superior Court.”
“Convictions on criminal charges of this nature are commonly punishable by terms of up to life in state prison,” the Union County statement also said.
Yasemin Uyar’s mother, Karen Uyar, has said that Rios was abusive toward Yasemin. According to a report in NJ.com, Rios had become increasingly violent, and Yasemin was planning to move in order to get away from him.
“I would like to say that it’s something we never thought would happen but when you live with a child that’s going through a domestic violence relationship for a long time, it is something you learn to know it’s going to happen at some point,” Karen Uyar told WNBC Channel 4 New York. “You always hope it isn’t, you always pray that it isn’t,” Uyar also said.
“While my family grieves the loss of Yasemin please remember she wasn’t just a DV victim,” Karen Uyar posted on Facebook on July 11, after Yasemin’s remains were found. “She was a daughter, sister, mother, aunt and cousin. Her life will be celebrated as her greatest gift to this world, Sebastian will still need ALL of our love and support.”
(Photo of Yasemin Uyar via New Jersey State Police; image of Tyler Rios via Putnam County Sheriff’s Office)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]