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Body of missing Bronx mother found in Washington Heights wooded area; son deemed suspect

Posted: 3:57 PM, Jan 28, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-28 22:38:32-05

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan — Police sources say the body found in a wooded area of Washington Heights is the Bronx mother who was reported missing last week.

Police were called to the area of West 187th Street and Chittenden Avenue around 1:30 p.m., after a passerby spotted a woman's body. The body had been thrown over a wall into an embankment on the side of the Henry Hudson Parkway.

Police sources say the body has been in the embankment since Monday.

An investigation revealed that the victim was Joan Viau of the Bronx. Viau was last seen on Jan. 23 leaving her Williamsbridge apartment.

"This neighborhood is so nice," super Ronald Pacheco told PIX11. "That's scary."

At the home where Viau's younger son is staying, there was grief and a gentle no comment.

Viau's older son, 31-year-old Joseph Garcia was arraigned Saturday on charges of grand larceny and unlicensed use of his mother's car.

In court, the prosecutor said he was the "No. 1 suspect in his mother's disappearance."

Officials said they had surveillance video of Garcia leaving his mother's blood splattered car.

"There was blood evidence in her car and in her home that we're very much concerned with," Robert Boyce, NYPD Chief of Detectives told PIX11.

Police say the missing mother's pocketbook and cellphone, which had traces of blood on them, were found in an upstairs bedroom of her home after her son returned there without her.