Car with body inside found in pond while searching for missing Texas mother, police say
Erica Hernandez was last seen leaving a friend’s house on April 18.
A car matching the description of a car belonging to a Texan mother who went missing three weeks ago has been found in a pond with a body inside, authorities said on Tuesday.
Erica Hernandez, 40, was last seen leaving a friend’s house in southwest Houston in the wee hours of April 18.
In the weeks that followed, police and her family searched for the single mother of three.
Information gathered from the FBI led authorities to a retention pond in Pearland, southeast Houston, where they searched the area and “found a location that matched a vehicle hitting the sidewalk and entering a plane. of water at the end of the road, “Houston Police Department commander Kevin Deese said at a press briefing Tuesday night.
The Police Department’s dive team recovered a vehicle from the bottom of the pond that had the same body, make and license plate as Hernandez’s car, Deese said. He also suffered damage consistent with a car hitting the sidewalk, he said.
Hernandez was driving a black 2020 GMC Acadia with Texas plates the night he went missing, officials said.
More than two hours after the divers entered the water, a dark-colored SUV was retrieved from the pond around 7 p.m. local time, according to Houston ABC Station KTRK.
The search for Hernandez is not “definitely over,” although his family are awaiting a positive identification of the person found inside the car, Deese said.
The Pearland Police Department is investigating the death of the person found in the car, authorities said. The body will be sent to the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s office for further investigation.
It was obvious the car had been in the pond for an “extended period of time,” Deese said.
Authorities were unable to share the information that led them to this location, nor to the location of the pond, which ranged from 8 to 15 feet in depth, it was found.
Hernandez was captured by a Ring doorbell camera leaving her brother and sister-in-law’s home on the night of April 17, just hours before her disappearance. She then drove her children home before heading to a friend’s house, relatives said. She left her friend’s house around 2:30 a.m. on April 18. She texted her friend that she was “five minutes away from going home.” sources told KTRK.
After Hernandez went missing, his cell phone and his vehicle’s OnStar connection stopped sending location signals, police said. Previously, police said they had not ruled out foul play.
Since her disappearance, family members have distributed leaflets on missing persons and searched for clues as to possible routes she could have taken to return home.
Members of Hernandez’s family were at the scene of the investigation Tuesday in the retention pond, KTRK reported.
ABC News’ Bill Hutchinson contributed to this report.