A Wichita Police Captain and Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett provided an update in the case of Lucas Hernandez on Friday, answering many questions that have been asked since the little boy’s disappearance and death.
Detectives didn’t sleep for hours, according to Capt. Brent Allred, while investigating the disappearance and ultimate death of 5-year-old Lucas, who vanished from his family’s rental home off of Edgemoor in February. Yet, despite sleepless nights and long hours put into the investigation, they weren’t any closer to charging Emily Glass with murder, the main suspect in the boy’s death.
“It impacts us to this day,” Allred said. “When you have a child that is missing…..we are all human beings and impacts us still to this day.”
Glass, Lucas’ father’s live-in girlfriend, was responsible for taking care of Lucas when he disappeared. The boy’s father, Jonathan Hernandez, was cleared of any wrongdoing after authorities checked his whereabouts and determined he was indeed out of town for work during the days surrounding Lucas’ disppearance. They also analyzed Hernandez’s cellphone activity and determined there was no evidence suggesting he knew about or helped plan his son’s disappearance or death.
Glass, on the other hand, apparently turned her phone off for around an hour in the morning on February 17, the day she later reported Lucas missing. Glass turned her phone back on when she reached 21st and Oliver Street. The day after Glass told police Lucas vanished, they did an intense grid search in a park near the area she turned her phone on, but found nothing. Despite evidence showing that Glass had been in the area, she denied it to police.
Authorities later found Lucas’ lifeless body under a small bridge in a rural, secluded area of Harvey County, around 27 miles from the home he disappeared from. Glass led private investigator David Marsburn to the area on May 24. Marshburn made the discovery while looking under the small bridge, then promptly called police.
Glass also told police that she met up with Lucas’ biological mother, Jamie Orr, on February 14, and handed over Lucas. Yet, evidence determined that, too, was a lie, when authorities confirmed that Orr wasn’t in town that week and had an alibi. Authorities stated they had already confirmed Orr was in Kansas City at the time before Glass lied to them.
Further, Glass, while incarcerated on child endangerment charges in regards to her 1-year-old toddler, apparently told inmates that she stopped at a gas station to get gas and left Lucas and her daughter in the vehicle while she went inside the store to pay. She reportedly said that when she came back to the vehicle, Lucas was gone. The story was in contrast to the story she told police. She told detectives she took a nap in her home on February 17 and woke to find the back door slightly open and Lucas missing.
Glass admitted to police she brought a homeless man over to her house on February 14, later identified as 22-year-old Christian Rials, of Wichita. Police questioned Rials, who said he never once saw Lucas in the home while he was over there. On April 20, Rials was struck and killed by a car while trying to cross a street Kellogg at Oliver, close to Glass’ rental home.
Although they didn’t address the date when they thought Lucas may have died, the last publicly-known credible witness to see Lucas was a neighbor who saw Lucas playing with his children on February 11. However, Bennet and Allred also didn’t address questions surrounding the landlord of home where Glass and Hernandez lived with the two children, despite previous speculation that the landlord may have spotted Lucas the day before he disappeared.
Bennett said despite the lack of evidence after a coroner couldn’t determine Lucas’ cause of death, they had still planned to continue to gather evidence in an attempt to charge Glass with felony murder. Yet, on June 8, Glass took shot herself in the forehead with an AR-15 inside her home. Hernandez was also cleared from any wrongdoing in Emily’s death when investigators determined he was not in the home when the incident occurred. Emily was the only person inside the home when she shot and killed herself.
Glass left three notes behind, yet none of the notes addressed Lucas or what happened to him. Instead, the gist of the notes was how she “failed” as a girlfriend and mom and who she wanted to give her personal items to.
As far as why authorities released Glass from jail after she led Marshburn to Lucas, Bennett indicated that they could not hold Glass behind bars for any charges related to Lucas while trying to pursue murder charges, as it would be “double jeopardy” in the state of Kansas, should she have gotten off on a lesser charge in regards to the case.
[Feature Photo: Lucas Hernandez/Handout]