Highland Park man may be close to agreeing plea deal in murder of ex-girlfriend

ELIZABETH — As a plea deal is negotiated for a Highland Park man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and kidnapping their baby boy last summer, an online petition with nearly 17,000 signatures calls on the suspect to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Tyler Rios, 27, is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, Yasemin Uyar, 24, of Rahway, and kidnapping the couple’s then 2-year-old son, Sebastian, last summer in a case that attracted national attention.

During a court appearance on Monday, Rios’ attorney Nicholas Korman told Union County Superior Court Judge John M. Deitch that he made a plea offer to the United County Attorney’s Office. ‘Union.

“The front office of the district attorney’s office is reviewing a potential offer that I discussed with Mr. Rios as a possibility that we don’t know if it will actually be approved,” Korman said.

Tyler Rios

Korman said he understands the prosecutor’s office would have to respond to the offer by mid-February and that, if accepted, he would need a few weeks to discuss the offer with his client.

Union County Assistant District Attorney Robert Grady said his office requested two weeks to complete the review.

Although details of the offer were not disclosed during the hearing, an update on the Change.org petition titled “Justice for Yasemin Uyar” indicates that Rios is considering a 30-year prison sentence.

“Tyler Rios is currently facing the possibility of a 30-year plea bargain which is far too short for the lives destroyed and the crimes committed in July 2021. We would like Tyler to spend the rest of his life behind bars in order to ‘Having the ability to do more damage to Sebastian or his loved ones is never possible again,’ the petition reads.

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The petition, which as of Monday had more than 16,890 signatures of the 25,000 sought, also aims to change the way the courts deal with restraining orders, harassment charges and domestic violence.

Yasemin Uyar

Deitch has set the next court date for late February.

Rios, who appeared remotely from Essex County Jail, where Union County sends its inmates, did not speak during the three-minute hearing.

Rios was arrested on July 10, 2021 in Tennessee after a New Jersey State Police Amber Alert was issued for the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend and their son.

Uyar’s half-naked body was found stuffed into a sports bag and dumped in the woods of Tennessee, not far from a hotel where Rios and the boy were found, according to court documents. An autopsy revealed Uyar had been strangled and suffered blunt force trauma two days before her body was found on July 8, according to court documents.

Family and friends say Uyar struggled with an abusive relationship with Rios she met when they were students at Highland Park High School. Court documents say Rios had a history of harassment, harassment and terrorist threats, and that a restraining order was issued.

READ:After the murder of her daughter, the NJ mother is on a mission to help victims of domestic violence

The Amber Alert was issued on July 9 after the toddler failed to show up for daycare and his mother failed to show up for work.

Sebastien Rios

A wellness check was carried out at Uyar Rahway’s home where no one was found, but the entrance was discovered through an open window on the second floor, according to court documents. Uyar, her son and her car were missing, but a t-shirt, sweatpants and pajama bottoms with a urine stain were found in her home, court documents show.

Rios has been identified as a suspect in their disappearance, triggering the Amber Alert.

An investigation revealed that Rios called someone he knew from a blocked number and admitted to having his son and said he had killed Uyar, and that his body “had been in the vehicle for days , until he dumped his body off a highway.” according to court documents.

New Jersey State Police traced the phone call to Monterey, Tennessee, where the local sheriff’s office found Uyar’s car in a hotel parking lot and found Rios in a room with the boy, according to court documents.

Sebastian was found unharmed at the hotel early on July 10 and Rios was taken into custody when he refused to leave the room while the boy was rescued to safety, court documents show.

Later that day, Rios led investigators to Uyar’s body in a nearby wooded area off Interstate 40, according to court documents.

Rios was extradited to New Jersey where he was charged.

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Suzanne Russell is a breaking news reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, the courts and other mayhem. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

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