GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J., (CBS) — Investigators say a suspect has been charged in the death of a young mother who was found in the basement of a South Jersey home. (See Previous Story)
Authorities say Joshua Rivera Santos, of Pennsauken, has been charged in the murder of his girlfriend Rebecca Ugarte.
The body of the 21-year-old Ugarte was found in the basement of a home in the 100 block of Austin Avenue in Glendora, New Jersey Tuesday afternoon.
Police say Rivera Santos lived in the home, along with his mother. Ugarte was also staying at the home, along with the four-year-old daughter of Santos and Ugarte.
Investigators say Rivera-Santos’ mother Vivian Santos noticed Ugarte lying in the basement covered in blankets, but told detectives she thought the victim was asleep. She went to work, then returned home around noon Tuesday and saw Ugarte was still in the basement.
She questioned her son about Ugarte, took the blankets off the victim and realized she was dead.
Rivera-Santos’ mother then called police.
According to authorities, Ugarte had a cell phone charger cord wrapped around her neck.
The Camden County Medical Examiner determined that Ugarte’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to her neck and the manner of her death was ruled a homicide.
Rivera Santos was charged after the Medical Examiner’s ruling.
Rivera Santos, 21, is being held on $750,000 bail.