Missing mom’s dead body found in Florida

TAMPA, FL – Authorities in Florida have discovered a body believed to belong to Sylvia Pagan. The 34-year-old woman had gone missing earlier this week along with her 9-year-old daughter, Briana.

Before her disappearance, Pagan was seen last on Sunday morning in Tampa. The city’s Police Department expressed concern for her safety by issuing a “Missing & Endangered Alert,” describing Pagan as being 5’3 in height and weighing approximately 155 pounds.

The mystery surrounding their disappearance began to unravel after an Amber Alert was distributed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement regarding Pagan’s nine-year-old daughter around 1 a.m. on Monday. Further, Tampa authorities revealed that it was likely Briana could have been accompanied by two people: Sylvia Pagan and a “person of interest,” Jovanni Caceres Steffani, age 38.

Reports indicate that officials suspected Pagan and Steffani had spent the night together at Pagan’s residence in Tampa prior to exiting the next morning. Despite their search, officers found no sign of either person being harmed at the residence or the history of any domestic violence calls to the household.

The situation took a dark turn approximately an hour post the issuance of the Amber Alert when Steffani was discovered deceased owing to a “self-inflicted gunshot wound” in Suwannee County, located approximately 200 miles north of Tampa. Authorities had encountered Steffani at a local hotel.

Thankfully, Briana was safely recovered from the location preceding Stefanni’s demise, yet her mother’s whereabouts remained unknown after the Amber Alert had been lifted. Authorities voiced a deep concern for her wellbeing.

Details regarding the location of the body suspected to belong to Pagan, including the identification method and cause of death, have not been released by the police. Indirect comments obtained from a search party volunteer suggested that a body resembling Pagan had been found in a roadside ditch, obscured by a child’s pool.

Presently, the medical examiner’s office is in the process of confirming the identity of the remains and ascertaining the cause of death. The incident has left the community shocked and heartbroken, with Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw expressing sympathy with the victim’s family, especially her young daughter, who has been subjected to the “unimaginable loss.”