Remains of Tampa mother who went missing discovered

According to CBS News affiliate WTSP, authorities in Florida have discovered a body that they believe to be the woman who was reported abducted earlier this week along with her daughter.

Sylvia Pagan, a 34-year-old woman, was last spotted in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday morning, as reported by WTSP. The Tampa Police Department has released a “Missing & Endangered Alert” for Pagan, providing details about her physical appearance. According to the alert, she is described as a 5’3 tall woman, weighing approximately 155 pounds.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued an Amber Alert for Pagan’s 9-year-old daughter, Briana, at 1 a.m. local time on Monday.

According to a news release from the Tampa police, it is believed that Briana “may have also been accompanied” by Pagan and Jovanni Caceres Steffani, 38, who the police have identified as a “person of interest.”

According to WTSP, investigators suspect that Steffani and Pagan spent the night together at Pagan’s home in Tampa before departing the next morning. There is no evidence of any harm occurring at the residence, and no records of domestic violence calls to the address were found.

Around 2 a.m. local time, approximately one hour after authorities issued the Amber Alert, law enforcement officials discovered Steffani’s lifeless body in Suwannee County. He had tragically taken his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Deputies had confronted him at a hotel, as reported by WTSP.

According to WTSP, Briana was discovered unharmed at the location, as she had been released from the hotel prior to Steffani’s demise.

Pagan’s whereabouts remained unknown even after the Amber Alert for Briana was lifted. Authorities expressed deep concern for her overall well-being.

The medical examiner’s office is currently in the process of confirming the identity of the remains and determining the cause of death, as per a report by WTSP.

Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw expressed his condolences and shared a heartfelt statement in response to the tragic outcome. “This is not the outcome anyone wanted,” Chief Bercaw stated, emphasizing the sorrow felt by the entire community. He extended his sympathies to Sylvia’s loved ones, with a special mention of her daughter Briana, acknowledging the unimaginable loss they are experiencing.

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