Just before 1 a.m. on Friday, the prosecutor declared on social media that an arrest had been made in connection with the Luz Hernandez case.
A few hours later, she reported that U.S. Marshals Service agents had located Cesar Santana, 36, at a motel in Miami, Florida.
Santana and Leiner Miranda Lopez, both aged 26, have been charged with second-degree desecration/concealment of human remains. As of Friday afternoon, Miranda Lopez had not been apprehended.
Please notify the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office at 201-915-1345 if you have any information regarding his location.
Santana was detained pending his extradition to New Jersey.
Suarez stated that Santana has been a person of interest since Tuesday, when Jersey City police discovered a “crime scene” during a welfare check at Hernandez’s residence.
Investigators then discovered that Santana and Miranda Lopez had been stopped along Central Avenue in Kearny on Sunday, a day before Hernandez was reported missing.
Their vehicle was detained by the Kearny Police Department for being unregistered.
Tuesday, police conducted a search of this vehicle and discovered “further evidence,” according to Suarez.
An arrest has been made in connection with the death investigation of Luz Hernandez. More to follow.
— ProsecutorSuarezHCPO (@HCPOProsecutor) February 10, 2023
Authorities then concentrated their efforts in the vicinity of Central Avenue and Third Street, where Hernandez’s fresh burial was discovered.
Hernandez Mourned as ‘devoted Mother’ in Fundraiser for Her Children
Initial autopsy results are shared. On Thursday, it was reported that the 33-year-old victim had been strangled and hit on the head with a blunt object before being buried.
According to family members who spoke to News 12, Hernandez had been living with her children and their father, although the couple had been separated since November.
NBC New York was the first to announce that Santana, Hernandez’s ex-girlfriend, had been located in Florida by U.S. Marshals.
Hernandez’s Killing Follows Jersey City Teacher Domestic Violence Homicide in January
She liked working with children and was a caring mother and daughter. In May of this year, she would have graduated from St. Peter’s College with a Master of Education,” Jenny Taveras stated in the summary of the fundraiser.
She also mentioned that Hernandez’s two eldest children attend BeLoved Charter School, where their mother formerly worked.
Taveras recalled her sister as a “passionate educator” who sought to enhance the educational skills of children.
Cards and balloons were part of an impromptu memorial outside Hernandez’s home on Wednesday, as seen by CBS New York on camera.
Hernandez’s murder follows the domestic violence homicide of a Jersey City educator in January.
Temara King, a 35-year-old Jersey City educator, was shot and killed by her husband on January 24 just two weeks earlier.
In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 39-year-old Lucas Cooper was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. The adolescent daughter of the couple contacted 911 when her mother was shot.
Anyone with information regarding the Hernandez case was encouraged to call the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office at 201-915-1345 or send an anonymous tip online.
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