What to Know
- Family members fear the decomposed remains found in a basement in Pennsylvania may be a missing mother of 5 from the Bronx
- Family members of Vianela Tavera, who hasn't been seen for more than a week, were expected to try to make a positive ID later Monday
- She was supposed to be traveling to Philadelphia to meet a man she often visited there but never called her daughters to say she arrived
A body found in a Philadelphia basement has been identified as a missing 50-year-old mother of five from the Bronx, authorities and family members said Monday.
The body of Vianela Tavera was found in a basement in Feltonville when neighbors called cops about a foul odor. The body was confirmed to be that of a woman, and she was dressed, but cops couldn't make a positive identification because of the condition of the remains.
Tavera was supposed to be traveling to Philadelphia to meet a man she often visited there. Family members say Tavera met the man, Luis Negron Martinez, nearly a year ago -- and that she traveled from the city to Philly to see him every weekend.
She always called her daughters when she got to Philly, family members say -- that didn't happen this time.
Her SUV was found in Virginia, when State Police there tried to help a man -- Martinez -- who was having a medical emergency on the road.
He called 911, suffering from low blood sugar, when he could no longer drive, but refused to go to a hospital, authorities said. Emergency crews called the cops, who came to question Martinez. They noticed he had a key that they later learned was to Tavera's SUV. When cops asked where Tavera was, Martinez allegedly said he didn't know because he had had a fight with a group of people in Philly and shot them; he allegedly said he wasn't sure if he hit the missing mother.
Cops took Martinez into custody and called the NYPD, where the SUV was registered.
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Tavera's family members are making preparations to take her body to the Bronx.