PHILADELPHIA — A missing New York City woman was found shot to death in a Philadelphia basement, and a man found driving her car last week is in custody in Virginia, authorities said Tuesday.
An autopsy confirmed the decomposing body found in the home in the Feltonville neighborhood was that of Vianelba Tavera, 50, of the Bronx, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head, Philadelphia police said Tuesday. Her death was ruled a homicide.
Tavera was last seen leaving her home early July 28 heading for Philadelphia. After she was reported missing, her SUV was stopped by Fairfax County police July 30 and a .9mm handgun was found inside.
The driver, Luis Negron-Martinez, 38, of Philadelphia, who police said knew Tavera, was arrested on stolen auto and weapon charges. He was taken to the Fairfax County adult detention center and held without bond. A listed number for him couldn't be found Tuesday; it's unclear whether he has an attorney.
Philadelphia homicide investigators, alerted by Virginia authorities, searched various locations in the city and found the body Sunday.
Family members told WNBC that Tavera met Negron-Martinez nearly a year ago, and that she traveled from New York City to Philadelphia to see him every weekend.
The homicide investigation continues and no charges in that case were immediately filed.