Last week, a second suspect was charged with murder in connection with the slaying of Luz Hernandez, a New Jersey kindergarten teacher whose body was discovered in a shallow grave one month ago. Hernandez was found dead from having been strangled.
According to the announcement made by Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez on Friday, Leiner Miranda Lopez, age 26, is now being charged with first-degree murder, impeding, failing to dispose of human remains, and tampering with physical evidence.
He had been accused of committing the crime of desecration of human remains in the past.
After officials named Lopez as a suspect a month ago, Lopez has not been captured and is still on the run.
On February 6, it was reported that Hernandez, a mother of three and a teacher at BelovED Charter School in Jersey City, was missing. On February 7, her body was discovered in a river. She was found to have died from blunt force injuries as well as compressions to the neck, according to the autopsy results.
Cesar Santana, 36 years old, Hernandez’s estranged husband, was taken into custody on February 10 at a motel in the city of Miami. He is being charged with multiple counts of murder, including one in the first degree.
On February 5, 2019, in Kearny, New Jersey, on Central Avenue, Lopez and Santana were involved in a traffic stop. This occurred the day before Hernandez was reported missing. Two days after the traffic encounter, homicide officers discovered Hernandez’s remains in the area nearby. His body had been shot.