Body of missing Newark mother found behind abandoned house; ex-boyfriend charged

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 17:30:31-04

Gualberto L. Lebron, 33, (L) has been charged with the murder of Julia Vega. His brother, 34-year-old Gilberto Lebron Jr., (R) has been charged with conspiracy.

NEWARK — Two men have been charged in the murder of a young Newark mother who went missing last month, officials said.

Julia Vega, 30, was reported missing on May 9. On Friday, her decomposed body was discovered.

Vega’s ex-boyfriend, 33-year-old Gualberto L. Lebron, has been charged with her murder. His brother, 34-year-old Gilberto Lebron Jr., has been charged with conspiracy. Both brothers are residents of Newark.

Officials said Vega, who worked at a day care center in Newark, went home at lunchtime on May 9 to walk the family dog, and was never seen again. For the last three weeks authorities have been investigating her disappearance.

On Friday, a decomposing body was discovered behind an abandoned house in Irvington. It was identified through dental records as Vega’s body on Tuesday, according to Assistant Prosecutor Adam B. Wells.

Her death was ruled a homicide by the Regional Medical Examiners’ Office.

The ex-boyfriend, Gualberto Lebron, has been charged with conspiracy, murder, robbery, burglary, stalking, witness tampering, hindering prosecution, desecrating human remains, eluding police, aggravated assault, possession of narcotics with the intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school and related narcotics offenses.

The brother, Gilberto Lebron, has been charged with conspiracy to hindering prosecution, conspiracy to desecrate human remains, unlawful possession of a handgun and possession of firearm on a school property.

A detention hearing is scheduled for Friday for Gualberto Lebron.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.