The partially decomposed body found in a Feltonville basement Sunday night has been identified as that of Vianela Tavera, a mother of five from the Bronx who was last seen July 28 on her way to Philadelphia. Police said Tuesday that Tavera had been shot in the head.
Police in Fairfax County, Va., in the meantime, are holding a Philadelphia man who was arrested after having been found in Tavera's SUV with a 9mm handgun inside. Luis E. Negron-Martinez, 38, was taken into custody July 30.
Philadelphia police said Tuesday that Homicide Unit detectives began looking for Tavera, 50, in the city's Feltonville section July 31, after Fairfax County officials alerted them to the arrest of Negron-Martinez.
Sunday night, police found Tavera's body in the basement of a house on the 400 block of West Roosevelt Boulevard after neighbors complained of a strong odor.
Relatives told police Tavera had gone to Philadelphia to visit a man.
The medical examiner confirmed the body was that of Tavera and ruled her death a homicide caused by a gunshot wound to the head, police said.