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.

Karla Jose Villagra Garzon
Karla Jose Villagra Garzon
A Union County man accused of killing his wife and leaving her body in a vacant Chatham Township home often drove through the neighborhood, authorities said.

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.
Duncan Munchkin March 21, 2014 at 09:59 AM
You know what...the home's owner is a lying sack of dung. That place has been a run down eyesore for years...long before Sandy. There are plenty of other dilapidated/vacant structures in the township and borough that kids play around in. It's like Chatham's version of a crack house.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »