Death of NJ mom reveals domestic violence issue in Tennessee

Posted at 6:05 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 19:29:06-04

PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — A tragic domestic violence case ended in Tennessee after a young New Jersey mom was found dead in Putnam County.

Investigators say 24-year-old Yasemin Uyar and her son, 2-year-old Sebastian Rios, were taken Thursday by the boy's father, Tyler Rios.

Sebastian was found Friday at a hotel in Monterey along with his father. Tyler led investigators to a location off Highway 70 where Uyar's body was found.

Uyar's mother said Rios had a history of abusing Uyar and her daughter had a restraining order against Tyler Rios.

She added that Uyar was trying to escape. Tyler Rios is being held in the Putnam County Jail and faces extradition from Tennessee to New Jersey.

"I think for the world, I want people to remember Yazzie as being a person that tried to fight for herself - didn't always win, she would falter, but in the end had really started to fight for herself," said mom Karen Uyar.


Though this case originated in New Jersey, the ending is all-too-common in Tennessee. The YWCA tells us the state remains in the top ten in the country for domestic violence homicides.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, last year, more than 69,000 cases of domestic violence were reported statewide, along with 90 murders.

While those numbers are slightly down from 2019 officials agree they are still far too high.


There are a number of signs to look for to see if your partner is being abusive like isolating you from friends and family or having sudden mood swings

"One of the biggest things is understanding what control is," said Damien Talley, the VP of DV services. "them trying to control what you do and who you see."

If you know someone who is in an abusive relationship, try to have a calm conversation with them about it.

You could also come up with a code word that, when used, signals the victim is in danger and to call the police.

"Be supportive and e a sounding board for them," Talley said, "hopefully you can get to a point because you are always listening and not asking those victim blaming questions you can create a circumstance where they are more willing to discuss options."

We're taking an in-depth look at the impact of domestic violence on the Volunteer State.

To discuss those options, victims, family, and friends can contact the confidential YWCA crisis and support help line. To speak with an advocate 1-800-334-4628 or TEXT us at 615-983-5170