Accused Killer Familiar With Chatham Neighborhood, Report Says
Elizabeth man charged with the murder of his wife often picked up donated clothing along Southern Boulevard.
Abayuba Rivas, 39, of Elizabeth, has been charged with first-degree murder and other offenses related to the death of his wife, Karla Jose Villagra-Garzon.
Villagra-Garzon, 32, was reported missing three weeks ago and her body was found late Tuesday night in the basement of a Southern Boulevard home that hasn't been occupied since Hurricane Sandy.
Rivas was familiar with the neighborhood since he often picked up donated clothing along Southern Boulevard, according to NJ.com.
The home's owner said a tree fell and took out a chimney during Hurricane Sandy and a fire further damaged the home on the 7-acre property, according to NJ.com.
Authorities have not said what led them to the home or if the woman was killed there.
An autopsy performed Wednesday revealed Villagra-Garzon died from asphyxiation and blunt-force trauma. Villagra-Garzon, a mother of a 2-year-old girl, was last seen on Feb. 23 when she went to a pharmacy near her Elizabeth home and never returned.
It is not known if Rivas is the father of the child. Rivas was already in police custody on child endangerment charges when his wife's body was found this week.