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Body of missing Tampa mom, reportedly abducted alongside daughter, believed to be found

Police in Florida say they found a body that they believe belongs to a woman who was reported to have been abducted earlier this week alongside her daughter, according to CBS News affiliate WTSP

Sylvia Pagan, 34, was last seen in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday morning, WTSP reported. The Tampa Police Department issued a "Missing & Endangered Alert" for Pagan, describing her as a 5'3 woman weighing about 155 pounds. 

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

Tampa police said in a news release that they believed Briana "may have also been accompanied" by Pagan and Jovanni Caceres Steffani, 38, who Tampa police called a "person of interest." 

WTSP reported that investigators believe Steffani and Pagan spent the night together at Pagan's Tampa home before leaving the following morning. Investigators found no evidence anyone had been harmed at the house, WTSP reported, and there was no record of domestic violence calls to the address. 

Sylvia Pagan. Tampa Police Department/X

Around 2 a.m. local time, about an hour after the Amber Alert was issued, police say Steffani was found dead with a "self-inflicted gunshot wound" in Suwannee County, which is about 200 miles north of Tampa. Deputies had confronted him at a hotel, WTSP reported.

Briana was found safe at the scene, having been released from the hotel before Steffani's death, WTSP reported. 

Pagan remained unaccounted for even after the Amber Alert for Briana was lifted. Police said that they were "deeply concerned for her overall well-being." 

Police did not say where they found the body that they believe to be Pagan's, or release any information about the cause of death. A volunteer in the search for Pagan told WTSP that searchers found what is believed to be Pagan's body in a roadside ditch, covered by a blue child's pool. The clothing and shoes on the body matched the description Pagan's family provided, the volunteer told WTSP. 

WTSP reported that the medical examiner's office is working to confirm the identity of the remains and determine a cause of death. 

"This is not the outcome anyone wanted," Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said in a statement provided to WTSP. "We send our condolences to Sylvia's loved ones, but most importantly her daughter Briana during this unimaginable loss." 

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