Authorities on Sunday confirmed the death of 24-year-old Yasemin Uyar, the mother of 2-year-old Sebastian Rios whose disappearance triggered a multistate AMBER Alert.
The Putnam County Sheriff's Office in Tennessee located Uyar's body Saturday in a wooded area nearly 800 miles from her Rahway, New Jersey, home and close to where her son was safely located earlier in the day, officials said Sunday.
The confirmation of Uyar's death comes roughly 48 hours after she was reported missing, along with her son. Sebastian Rios and Yasemin Uyar were reported missing Friday morning after the toddler did not show for daycare and his mother missed work.
Prosecutors confirmed 2-year-old Sebastian Rios was safely located Saturday morning in Monterey, Tennessee, where his father, Tyler Rios, was arrested by local authorities.
According to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, New Jersey authorities called down around 3 a.m. Saturday to alert the department to the active AMBER Alert. It took an estimated 15 minutes for deputies and officers from the Monterey Police Department to locate the silver Ford Fiesta parked at the Bethel Inn Hotel near I-40.
"Law enforcement made contact with Rios and attempted to convince him to give up and exit his room. Rios refused to do so, at which time law enforcement entered the hotel room by force taking Rios into custody," the sheriff's office said.
Rios would later lead the sheriff's office and FBI to a wooded area on Highway 70 in Monterey where Uyra's body was left, authorities say.
The 27-year-old Highland Park man has been charged with first-degree kidnapping for the abduction of his son, the New Jersey officials stated Sunday. Additional charges are also expected in connection with Uyar's death.
"This is probably the hardest few days of our lives," Karen Uyar said. "[Sebastian is] happy, he's playing right now. He's obviously confused, asking for mommy."
But while the circumstances leading up to Uyar's death remain in the dark, her family believed her alleged abductor planned to hide out with family in Georgia. Karen Uyar says her daughter suffered a violent past with Rios and he was currently on probation.
"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. You always hope it isn't, you always pray that it isn't," Karen Uyar said.
Rios was still in police custody in Tennessee on Sunday awaiting extradition to New Jersey. He's set to make a first court appearance and detention hearing before the Union County Superior Court.
Information for his attorney was not immediately known.