TRENTON – A Highland Park man charged with kidnapping his 2-year-old son and killing the boy’s mother will remain detained until his trial.

Tyler Rios, 27, waived his right to seek release pending trial in a detention hearing held virtually Tuesday. Rios provided yes and no answers to questions from Superior Court Judge Richard Wischusen but otherwise didn’t speak in the short hearing, which he attended from the Union County Jail.

“At this juncture, we’re going to concede probable cause as to all complaints, and I don’t think that there’s anything at this time we could put before the court to overcome the presumption of detention,” said Nicholas Kormann, Rios’ defense attorney.

Rios is accused of abducting his 2-year-old son, Sebastian, in Rahway on July 9, which triggered widespread Amber alerts. The boy was found, without apparent physical injuries, one day later in Tennessee with Rios. The body of Yasemin Uyar, 24, was later found in a wooded area off Interstate 40.

Prosecutors filed four motions in connection with detaining Rios. They revoke his release under an earlier criminal matter; detain him for allegedly violating a judicial no-contact order with the victim; detain him for the kidnapping charge; and detain him for the murder charge.

Rios had been charged in 2018 with strangling his romantic partner. He was sentenced to three years of probation in 2020 as part of a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to third-degree aggravated assault on a domestic violence victim but the strangulation charge was dismissed.

“I find that he is voluntarily giving up his right to that hearing,” Wischusen said. “He’s had time to speak to his very experienced defense counsel regarding the decision. He’s of clear mind. He understands he has a right to a hearing and he’s voluntarily waiving that right today. All four motions are granted.”

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Wischusen entered a not guilty plea on Rios’ behalf. The next court appearance in the case is a plea disposition conference scheduled for Aug. 26.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at

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