Investigators looking into the disappearance of a beloved New Jersey kindergarten teacher impounded a car linked to her ex-boyfriend just days before body was found — and found inside the vehicle a pickax, a shovel, and a bloodstained rope.
The new details were in an arrest affidavit for 36-year-old Cesar Santana, who has been charged with murder and other counts in the death of 33-year-old Luz Hernandez, whose body was found earlier this month in Kearney, New Jersey.
Santana was arrested at a motel in Miami on February 10 extradited to New Jersey this week, WNBC reported.
Hernandez, a mother of three, was reported missing when she didn’t show up for work at BelovED Community Charter School on February 6. Reportedly, it was Santana — the father of her three children — who reported her missing. Investigators conducted a welfare check at her Jersey City home and eventually found the body about nine miles away in Kearney, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
An autopsy said she’d been beaten and strangled to death.
A second person — identified as Lenier Miranda Lopez, 26 — has been charged with desecrating human remains and is still at large, WNBC said.
The affidavit filed in the case says taht Santa was seen walking to Hernandez’s home on February 4. An hour later, he allegedly dragged a black and yellow bin from the house. Then, the following day, Kearney police issued a motor vehicle summons when he and another person were seen loading a black and yellow bin into a Honda. The vehicle was later impounded with expired registration.
Investigators also found a black and yellow bin and plastic sheeting in the vehicle.
Officers who searched Hernandez’s home noted a faint smell of bleach, the affidavit says, and found a mop and cleaning supplies along with blood in the bedroom.
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[Featured image: Luz Hernandez/Facebook]