Man charged with kidnapping 2-year-old son and murdering ex-girlfriend appears in NJ court

New Jersey
NJ amber alert suspect Tyler Rios

Tyler Rios, 27, was wanted in connection with the abduction of his 2-year-old son in New Jersey on July 9, 2021, according to police. (Credit: Police handout)

UNION COUNTY, N.J. — A New Jersey man charged with kidnapping his 2-year-old son and murdering his ex-girlfriend made his first appearance in court Tuesday after being extradited from Tennessee.

Tyler Rios, 27, had his charges — first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and violation of a restraining order — read aloud to him Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday, Rios will appear in court again for his detention hearing.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert on July 9 after it appeared Rios had kidnapped Uyar and their baby boy, according to authorities.

Authorities found the Rahway boy and his father in Monterey, Tennessee in the early morning of July 10, however, the mother was still missing. Her body was later discovered in a wooded area nearby, off of I-40, officials said Sunday.

She never arrived for work on the 9th and her son never made it to day care.

On July 9, an uncle of Rios contacted police; he told them Rios had called his mother and told her that he had a body in the back of his car, according to the criminal complaint. Rios’ mother believed the body to be Yasemin Uyar. Police reached out to Uyar’s sister, who was unable to reach the Rahway woman.

Police arrested Rios and preliminarily charged him in the kidnapping, the prosecutor’s office said at the time.

An autopsy performed on Uyar revealed her manner of death to be homicide, officials said.

Uyar was planning to move out of her Rahway apartment the weekend of the kidnapping to a place where Rios couldn’t find her or their son, according to her mother, who believes that may have been what triggered the abduction.

Yasemin and Tyler Rios have known one another since Yasemin was in high school, but that they haven’t been a couple since shortly after their son was born, according to Uyar’s mother Karen.

Since then, Karen Uyar said her daughter has been assaulted multiple times by Tyler Rios and has a restraining order against him.

“She was actually in the process of moving,” Karen Uyar said. “We normally speak every day but I didn’t speak with her yesterday because she was busy packing and I didn’t want to bother.”

Since Uyar’s murder, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy — citing the killing — signed a bill increasing the penalties for strangulation.

“The murder of Yasemin Uyar by a repeat domestic abuser was horrific and appalling,” said Murphy. “Research has shown that strangulation is often one of the strongest red flags for predicting future homicides of victims of domestic violence. This legislation recognizes the seriousness of strangulation assault and gives us the tools necessary to hold people accountable for their actions.”

Rios has a lone charge facing him in Tennessee as a felony for being a fugitive.

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