Early Saturday morning, 51-year-old Yvonne Serrano called Florida authorities to report a grisly scene in the driveway of her Coral Springs home.
“I just walked out and there is a car in my driveway with a dead body,” she told the 911 dispatcher. “There’s blood..she’s been here for a while,” she added. “She’s bleeding everywhere.”
During the frantic, five-minute phone call, Serrano insisted she had no idea what a dead body was doing in her driveway. But hours later—after changing her story multiple times—Serrano was charged with second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence for allegedly shooting 21-year-old Daniela Tabares outside her home, then trying to cover it up, Coral Springs police said.
Authorities said the pair had gone to the movies and a bar on Friday night with friends from their local gym, a night of fun that ended with a bullet in Tabares’ forehead.
“Daniela is an inspiration. She is the [sic] shining example of what the best of us can only try to be,” the gym that organized the group event said in a Facebook statement on Monday. “It shines through in the joy, laughter, and loving sassiness she shared with us. It shines through in the boundless love she gave us and the selfless care she took for the people around her. We cannot measure her loss.”
According to a police affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, deputies arrived at Serrano’s house early Saturday morning to find Tabares “partially inside the driver’s side of a Nissan Kicks”—her right foot still inside the SUV while the rest of her body was on the driveway.
“The victim was lying on her back with a fatal gunshot wound on her forehead,” the affidavit states. The medical examiner later determined that Tabares died from a single gunshot to the head by a 9mm pistol.
Serrano initially told police she’d “discovered” the body on her way to the gym, but when authorities arrived, she “was not dressed in gym attire and did not appear ready to go for a work out,” according to the affidavit.
The 51-year-old admitted to police during questioning that she knew Tabares, saying they’d seen the movie 21 Bridges together at around 7:30 p.m. the night before. While they “did not sit together,” Serrano told police the two went as a “part of a very large group of friends” who all attended the “Training for Warriors” gym in Coral Springs.
The group went to a bar, World of Beer, after the movie, the affidavit states. The gastropub’s surveillance video shows Tabares and Serrano “conversing, laughing and drinking for several hours” before leaving the bar together.
Serrano told police she had “originally mentioned taking an Uber home from the bar,” but Tabares “volunteered to drive” her home. Surveillance video from her neighborhood shows Tabares pulling into Serrano’s driveway at around 2 a.m. Her headlights turned off about five minutes later, and the car remained in the same position until police arrived about three hours later, the affidavit states.
When police questioned Serrano about her story’s discrepancies, she then stated she’d “blacked out” at a bar and “had no recollection of how she got home,” according to the report. All “she remembered after World of Beer was waking up in her own bed” early the next morning, she told police.
A few hours later, Serrano changed her story again, stating she actually woke up in Tabares’ passenger seat at around 5:55 a.m. and saw the driver’s door open and the 21-year-old “lying in the driveway,” police said. At that point, she also admitted she had a concealed weapons permit and three guns—including a 9mm pistol that she usually carried around but had removed and placed under her bed after calling the police.
“The defendant advised that she then changed out of a white tank top she was wearing and place it in the washing machine” because it had blood on it, the affidavit states.
Police said her pistol and its holder tested positive for human blood, and linked shell casings found inside Tabares’ car to the weapon.
It was not immediately clear if Serrano, who is currently being held at the Broward County Jail without bond, has an attorney. Tabares’ family did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.
Tabares’ friends paid tribute to the 21-year-old on social media, calling her a selfless person with a “good soul.”
“My BFF always tried to help! Always nice to people! Always smiling!,” one of Tabares friends, Karo Miller, wrote on Facebook Monday. “Can’t even find the words!”
“Daniela Maya Tabares, such a good soul! You will always be remembered,” another friend added on Facebook.