The ex-boyfriend of a slain kindergarten teacher found buried in a shallow grave was arrested for disposing of her body, prosecutors said.
Cesar Santana, 36, was arrested on Friday for burying his ex-girlfriend, Luz Martinez, in an industrial area of Kearny, New Jersey, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said.
Another man, Leiner Miranda Lopez, 26, has also been charged with desecrating or concealing human remains. He has not yet been brought into custody.
Hernandez, a 33-year-old kindergarten teacher and mother of three children, was reported missing on Monday after she failed to show up for work at the BelovED Community Charter School.
Police conducted a welfare check at her home in Jersey City, where they found blood splatters.
Investigators eventually found her body one day later in a shallow grave.
Her death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy revealed that she died from blunt force trauma to the head and compression to the neck.
Police identified Santana and Miranda Lopez as persons of interest on Tuesday. The two were pulled over in a traffic stop in Kearney on Sunday, and their car was still impounded for not having proper registration.
After Santana was identified, investigators searched the impounded car and recovered more evidence.
Santana was eventually found in a Miami, Florida motel. He was taken into custody by US Marshals and is awaiting extradition back to New Jersey.
The investigation is still ongoing, and neither man has been charged with her murder as of Friday. The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office said additional charges are still possible.
Meanwhile, Hernandez’s family and friends are mourning her tragic death.
‘She was a beloved member of the BelovED family,’ the school’s founder Bret Schunder said. ‘People are feeling devastated by this.’
Hernandez’s sister set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a scholarship fund her orphaned children.
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