Yasemin Uyar, the New Jersey woman who police said was abducted along with her 2-year-old son by the boy’s father, was found dead in Tennessee, her mother told NJ Advance Media Sunday morning.
Uyar was 24.
Tyler Rios, the father of Sebastian Rios, was arrested early Saturday in Monterey, Tennessee, where the boy was found unhurt, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay Ruotolo and Rahway Police Department Director Jonathan Parham said earlier in the day.
Rios, 27, was being held pending extradition to New Jersey. Karen Uyar told NJ Advance Media her daughter’s remains were found in the woods and she told CBS New York that it was in an area after Rios told police where he had put the body.
Rios’ mother said on social media they were told around 8 p.m. on Saturday that her daughter was located.
“While my family grieves the loss of Yasemin please remember she wasn’t just a (domestic violence) victim,” Karen Uyar wrote on Facebook. “She was a daughter, sister, mother, aunt and cousin. Her life will be celebrated as her greatest gift to this world.”
Uyar was a doting mother who struggled in an abusive relationship, according to her mother, who spoke with NJ Advance Media on Saturday before her body was found.
Karen Uyar said the pair had been involved in a tumultuous, on-again-off-again relationship since high school but that Rios’ erratic and violent behavior appeared to have been escalating in recent months.
Karen Uyar said her daughter had gotten a restraining order after Rios had previously choked her daughter and slammed her head into a wall. Yasemin Uyar had moved several times because she was afraid of him and was preparing to move once more when she went missing, her mother said.
Court records show Rios was charged with aggravated assault and strangulation of a domestic violence victim and theft in 2018. He took a plea deal and was convicted of the domestic violence assault charge, according to a judgment of conviction signed in February 2020. The strangulation and theft charges were dismissed. As part of the agreement, Rios was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years of probation.
He was also ordered not to have contact with the victim and to undergo anger management classes.
The court documents do not identify Rios’ victim, but the circumstances and timeline of his conviction are consistent with Karen Uyar’s account.
“She’s just such a sweet person,” Karen Uyar said of her daughter before her body was discovered Saturday.
Karen Uyar told NBC New York late Saturday night that Sebastian was “happy, he’s playing right now. He’s obviously confused, asking for mommy.”
NJ Advance Media reporters Susan Livio and Michael Sol Warren contributed to this report.
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