'Devastating': Missing Washington woman's body found in Mexican cemetery, police say


The body of a Washington woman who went missing two weeks ago was found over 1,300 miles away in a local cemetery in Mexicali, Mexico, police said.

Reyna Hernandez, 54, was found in the cemetery on the Tijuana Highway, the Renton, Washington Police Department said Monday in a Facebook post.

Hernandez disappeared Feb. 26 from her south Renton home, prompting friends to report her missing two days later, Renton police said. She failed to return home from running errands and didn’t open up her small business in Renton, according to the police’s social post.

Hernandez ran a hair salon in Renton — a suburb of Seattle about 12 miles south of downtown, ABC News reported.

Reyna Hernandez

Reyna Hernandez

How did Renton police find Reyna Hernandez’s body?

Detectives became aware of Hernandez’s possible whereabouts on March 8 when they were notified about a news article out of Mexicali describing how an unidentified body was found on the Tijuana Highway, Renton police said.

Over the weekend, investigators got in contact with Mexican authorities who provided enough information to positively identify Hernandez, according to Renton police.

Mexican law enforcement arrested a 61-year-old Renton resident on unrelated charges, but now he’s considered a suspect in Hernadez’s disappearance and possible murder, Renton police’s Facebook post said.

The suspect remains in custody in Mexico, where they also found Hernandez’s vehicle, police said.

“Detectives have not been super clear on what (their) relationship is, this person has not yet been charged so once we get all of those facts together we will be able to give you more information,” Meeghan Black of the Renton Police Department told KIRO-TV.

Reyna Hernandez’s murder may have been domestic violence-related, police say

Renton police detectives believe this was a domestic violence crime, according to the department’s Facebook post.

“This is the worst possible outcome, and our hearts go out to Reyna’s family and friends,” Renton police Investigations Cmdr. Chandler Swain said in the Facebook post. “We are working closely with Mexicali police and our U.S. Federal partners to determine when and where Reyna was killed.”

Detectives can figure out where the alleged homicide was committed once the time and manner of death are confirmed, Renton police said. If Hernandez was killed in the U.S., authorities would extradite the suspect to face charges in America, the department added.

“To have this as the outcome is just devastating,” Black said. “It’s now gone across country lines, not just state lines but country lines and we were working very well with Mexican officials and we’re getting the federal officials involved to try and figure out who takes jurisdiction when we figure out that timeline.”

Jonathan Limehouse covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at JLimehouse@gannett.com

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Reyna Hernandez’s body found in Mexico weeks after she went missing



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