Yvonne Serrano, 51, allegedly claimed she didn't know the victim, but then she changed her story

By Harriet Sokmensuer
November 26, 2019 02:51 PM
Daniela Tabares
Go Fund Me

A Florida woman is charged with murder after she blacked out from drinking and allegedly killed a friend who drove her home from a bar.

Yvonne Serrano, 51, is facing second degree murder charges and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, according to jail records obtained by PEOPLE.

Serrano is accused of shooting 21-year-old Daniela Tabares Maya in the head after the pair went out with friends Friday night, WPTV, the South Florida Sun Sentinel and CBS Miami report.

On Sunday morning shortly after 6 a.m., Serrano called police and told officers she had been leaving her Coral Springs home to go to the gym when she found the body of a woman she did not know in her driveway. She said she immediately called 911.

“What’s going on there?” a 911 dispatcher asked Serrano, according to a recording of the phone call.

“I don’t know,” Serrano replied. “I don’t know, I just walked out and there is a car in my driveway with a dead body.”

But Serrano actually did know Maya, she later told police. Both women belonged to the same gym and had been out together with friends and fellow gym members the night before.

Serrano then allegedly told police she remembered going to the bar, but had blacked out and wasn’t sure how she got home.

Yvonne Serrano
Broward County Sheriff's Office

Serrano initially told police she had woken up in her bed, but then allegedly changed her story and admitted she had actually woken up sitting in the passenger seat of Maya’s car. When she saw her friend lying dead in the driveway with one foot still inside the car, she checked for a pulse.

Upon realizing the 21-year-old woman was dead, Serrano told police she grabbed her purse and went inside to call 911.

Serrano said she was initially going to take an Uber home that night, but that Maya had offered to drive her instead. She then admitted to washing the tank top she was wearing on the night of Maya’s death ecause it had blood on it and deleting all footage prior to 6:36 a.m. from her Ring home security camera.

A neighbor told the Sun Sentinel he and his wife didn’t associate with Serrano because of her drinking and in the past had to walk her home from a party.

“We’re not 18, 19, college kids anymore,” he said, according to the paper. “My wife doesn’t like that kind of stuff.”

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Video footage taken by a neighbor’s surveillance camera shows Maya’s vehicle pulling into Serrano’s driveway at 2 a.m. Five minutes later the SUV’s headlights turn off.

Serrano is married and has an adult child, the neighbor told the paper. On her car were two bumper stickers: one declaring “Proud parent of a U.S. Army soldier” and a second with a silhouette of a man in civilian clothes next to a silhouette of a man in uniform with a rifle and the words, “Your son, my son.”

A medical examiner found that Maya had died of one gunshot wound to the head.

Serrano has a concealed weapons permit and owns three guns. She told police she had brought her 9mm handgun out with her on the night of Maya’s death. Police found a 9mm shell casing on the passenger side of Maya’s car and the handgun in Serrano’s bedroom.

“Daniela is an inspiration,” Rick Davies, a friend of Maya’s, wrote on a GoFundMe page started to help with funeral funds. “She is the shining example of what the best of us can only try to be. 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.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Coral Springs Police Det. Frank Randazzo at (954) 346-1262.

PEOPLE could not reach an attorney for Serrano on Tuesday.

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