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The search for a missing New Jersey woman ended in tragedy after her body was discovered Saturday in a wooded area of Tennessee, not long after her young son was safely recovered from her ex-boyfriend, authorities say.
The Union County Prosecutor’s Office announced the discovery of the remains of 24-year-old Yasemin Uyar in a statement Sunday, saying the New Jersey mom was found in a wooded area off Interstate 40.
Her young son, Sebastian Rios, 2, was found unharmed in nearby Monterey, Tennessee earlier that day when authorities were taking Tyler Rios into custody.
Tyler Rios, 27, is now facing charges of first-degree kidnapping in connection with his son’s alleged abduction. Prosecutors said additional criminal charges in connection with Yasemin’s death are also pending.
Uyar's mother, Karen Uyar, also confirmed the death on Facebook over the weekend in a post filled with pictures of Yasemin and her son.
“While my family grieves the loss of Yasemin please remember she wasn’t just a (domestic violence) victim,” she wrote. “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.”
New Jersey State Police issued an Amber alert for Yasemin and her young son on Friday after Yasemin missed work and her young son was never dropped off at his daycare, according to local station WCBS-TV.
A Rahway Police officer went to do a welfare check at her home, but discovered that she wasn't there and her vehicle was missing, prosecutors said.
The week she disappeared, Yasemin had been planning to move from her apartment because she was afraid her ex-boyfriend’s alleged violent behavior had been escalating, according to her family.
Karen told NJ.com her daughter had gotten a restraining order against Tyler a year earlier and said he had once choked her daughter and slammed her head into a wall.
Tyler was later convicted of aggravated assault in February 2020 as part of an agreement with prosecutors that dismissed several other charges against him. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years of probation.
He was also ordered not to have any contact with the victim.
Karen told the news outlet she had voiced fears to her daughter that one day the violence would ultimately turn deadly.
“She would say, ‘He really wouldn’t hurt me. He just wants control,’” she said.
After Yasemin disappeared, investigators quickly identified Tyler as a suspect in the case and launched a search to find him, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Karen said the former couple had dated off and on since high school.
She described her daughter as a dedicated mother, who spent her most of her time working and caring for her young son.
Tyler remains in custody pending an extradition back to New Jersey, authorities said.
Oxygen.com reached out to the prosecutor’s office, but did not receive an immediate response.
Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the prosecutor’s office, either by reaching out to Lt. Johnny Ho at 908-403-8271 or Det. Richard Acosta at 908-347-0404.
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