A vehicle belonging to Erica Hernandez, a Texas mom who went missing last month, was found submerged in a pond with a body still inside, investigators said Tuesday.
The SUV was pulled out from the bottom of a retention pond at the intersection of Reflection Bay and Clear Lake Loop in Pearland, Texas, Houston Police Department Cmdr. Kevin Deese told reporters at a news conference.
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Deese said the vehicle’s model and license plate matched the SUV that Hernandez was last seen driving.
Investigators could not confirm whether the body was Hernandez. The body was sent to the medical examiner for positive identification.
“I want to express my condolences to the family as we wait out this trying time,” Deese said.
Information shared by the FBI led investigators to the pond where they found evidence that a vehicle likely struck a curb and drove into the water. Deese said that details on what information led them to the pond could not be shared at this time due to the ongoing investigation.
Investigators believed the SUV was submerged for an extended period of time, likely since the night Hernandez disappeared.
Hernandez, a 40-year-old mom of three, was last seen the morning of April 18 when she left a friend’s house in the 6000 block of Benning Drive in Houston.
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Meanwhile, Hernandez’s family told KHOU-TV that they don’t know why she would be in Pearland.
“We found her car, but we still need to keep going,” Hernandez’s sister, Ashley Hernandez, said. “There’s no reason for her to be over here. I think somebody had to have made her go in this direction for whatever reason.”
Pearland police are leading the investigation, which authorities said is in the early stages.