Luis Negron-Martinez is the 38-year-old alleged boyfriend of Vianela Tavera, the 50-year-old mother of five whose disappearance sparked a search that spanned three states
On Monday, family members confirmed that the body found decomposing in a North Philadelphia home was in fact the body of Tavera, Fox29 reports. Police later determined through the autopsy that the cause of death was due to a gunshot wound inflicted to the head, according to ABC.
Investigators say they have “linked” the North Philadelphia home Tavera’s body was found in to Negron-Martinez, but they have not yet charged him with anything related to her death. However, Martinez was arrested earlier in the week. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Tavera and Martinez Had Been Dating For Over a Year at the Time of Her Disappearance
According to family members who spoke to NBC New York, Tavera was traveling nearly every weekend from her home in New York to Martinez’s home in Philadelphia. They also clarified that Tavera always told them when she got there, and her July 27 trip was the first time where she didn’t make contact.
A few days into her disappearance, police confirmed that they did think Tavera had made it to her final destination (AKA Martinez’s house), though they were also confirmed that she may have encountered harm at some point.
2. Martinez Was Found in Virginia When He Called in a ‘Medical Emergency’ on the Road
Police were first alerted to Martinez’s location when he reportedly called in a medical emergency via 911 in Virginia. Emergency crews came to assist Martinez, who claimed to be suffering from low blood sugar. It’s not clear if Martinez is a diabetic.
According to NBC New York, Martinez “could not drive” but refused to go to the hospital. It was only when the emergency crew alerted police to the scene and they identified Tavera’s SUV that they then obtained a search warrant for the car and arrested him.
3. Negron-Martinez Was Found in Virginia With Tavera’s Car, Which Had Blood in the Back of it
According to The New York Post, police found Negron-Martinez in Fairfax, Virginia, with Tavera’s car. Police say there was a handgun and blood in the car, too.
However, reports of what happened next are slightly confused: According to The New York Post, Negron-Martinez “went beserk” and told police he killed someone, and police then took him to a mental hospital. According to NBC New York, Negron-Martinez reportedly told police he’d gotten involved in an altercation with a group of people in Philadelphia and shot someone, and he wasn’t sure who had been shot.
4. Martinez Is Facing Charges of Grand Larceny & Possession of a Concealed Weapon
According to Fairfax County records, Martinez was arrested on August 1 (four days after Tavera went missing) on charges of grand larceny auto theft and possession of a concealed weapon.
It’s not clear whether Martinez was released after his arrest, but his preliminary hearing date for both charges will be September 17.
The New York Post did report that there was blood found in the back of Tavera’s car when police searched it, but Martinez was not charged for anything related to that.
5. Tavera Was a Mother of Five Who Drove a School Bus for a Living
According to her daughter, Mailin, Tavera was not one to be bad at communicating, and she never missed a day of work. “She would call us and tell us she was ok but this time she didn’t answer,” Mailin Tavera told Fox29. “She went to Philadelphia and she never came back.”
Tavera’s cousin, Yohanni Rosado, has said of their own family search, “We decided to go to five hospitals just asking for unknown females in the last 8 days no one has walked in with her description. We just want answers.”