Luz Hernandez: An arrest has been made in the death of a New Jersey kindergarten teacher buried in a shallow grave, prosecutors say


An arrest has been made in the death of a New Jersey kindergarten teacher buried in a shallow grave, and an arrest warrant has been issued for a second person in connection with her death, the prosecutors said Friday.

Cesar Santana, 36, was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning at a motel in Miami, Florida, by the US Sheriff, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office said. Twitter The previous Friday without disclosing the name.

Santana is being held at the Miami-Dade Turner Guilford Nighttime Detention Center as a fugitive awaiting extradition to New Jersey, the office said in a press release.

The office said police had issued an arrest warrant for Leiner Miranda Lopez, 26, who has not been arrested.

Cesar Santana, left, is in Miami and will be transported to New Jersey.  Leiner Miranda Lopez has not been arrested.

Both men, both from Jersey City, New Jersey, have been charged with desecration/concealing in connection with the death of Luz Hernandez, 33, whose body was found Tuesday, a days after she was buried. reported missing to the police, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement New information posted Wednesday.

Police conducted a welfare check on Hernandez on Monday after she was reported missing. “The findings led to the Jersey City Police Department contacting the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office for assistance,” the statement said.

“During the investigation, the Murder Unit located what appeared to be a shallow grave in the area of ​​Central Avenue and Third Street in Kearny,” according to the press release. “A woman’s body was found a short time later and she was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:53pm.”

According to prosecutors, Hernandez died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck, and the manner in which her death was treated as homicide.

Prosecutors said Santana and Lopez were stopped by police Sunday on Central Avenue in Kearny before Hernandez was reported missing.

According to the prosecutor’s office, their vehicle was unregistered and the Kearny Police Department seized it. A court-mandated search of the vehicle on Tuesday resulted in the discovery of evidence in the case.

Prosecutors did not say who reported Hernandez missing to police in Jersey City.

Luz Hernandez was reported missing on Monday.

Hernandez is a celebrity kindergarten teacher at the BelovED Community Charter School in Jersey City, Bret Schundler, the school’s founder, told CNN Thursday. He started working as a teacher’s assistant in 2017 and has worked hard to become the primary teacher of the kindergarten class, he said.

Schundler said Hernandez is a “loved member of the BelovED community” who is loved by students and staff alike.

“Everybody was devastated,” Schundler said. “She is a wonderful person, and a very important part of the community.”

Schundler said the school closed on Wednesday and reopened on Thursday with additional advisors in place.

CNN is seeking comment from the Jersey City Police Department as well as the Kearny Police Department, which is assisting with the investigation.


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