HIGHLAND PARK, N.J. (WPIX) — A 2-year-old New Jersey boy who was abducted by his father, sparking an Amber Alert on Friday, has been found safe in Tennessee, officials said Saturday. However, the child’s mother, Yasmine Uyar, remained missing.
The boy’s father, 27-year-old Tyler Rios, was found in Monterey, Tennessee with the 2-year-old boy early Saturday morning, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Rahway Police Department Director Jonathan Parham said in a joint statement.
“While we are relieved that [the child] has been found safe and that Tyler Rios is in custody, we are still urging anyone with information about the whereabouts of Yasmine Uyar to come forward and tell us what they know, even anonymously,” Ruotolo said.
According to officials, concerns about the welfare of the mother and son were raised when Uyar, 24, did not show up for work and the boy was not dropped off at day care on Friday.
Police checked on the family at their Rahway home, but no one was there.
An Amber Alert was issued and police from multiple local, state and federal agencies began a frantic search for the pair, believing Rios may have abducted them.
Karen Uyar, Yasemin Uyar’s mother, spoke to NewsNation affiliate WPIX via Zoom Friday evening.
She told WPIX that 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, Sebastian, was born.
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. Unfortunately, we’re not positive over when he actually took them because none of us spoke with her yesterday.”
Karen Uyar said she fears that means Tyler Rios may have gotten as much as a 24-hour head start, noting that her grandson Sebastian was not in daycare Thursday.
Karen Uyar also said she would consider Tyler to be dangerous, and that when he drinks, he is violent. She added that she believes he may use his son as a shield.
When asked if she wanted them to know anything else about her daughter and the father of her grandson, Karen Uyar said that she felt Yasemin would try to appease Tyler Rios if she felt her life was in danger, and that Tyler has a lot of family in Georgia, specifically the town of Lawrenceville.
WPIX found a record for Tyler Rios in Lawrenceville that matches the information on the Amber Alert.
Karen Uyar said Tyler Rios also has family in the Newark and Paterson areas, but fears that with such a head start, he may already be in Georgia.
Police ask that anyone with information about the abduction call 9-1-1.