In the search for a missing mother, Texas investigators have discovered a body inside an SUV that was submerged in a lake.
Erica Hernandez, 40, vanished on April 18 after she left a friend’s home in Houston. The Houston Police Department announced at a Tuesday press conference that they have recovered a black GMC Acadia inside a lake in Pearland. That SUV matches the make and model of the vehicle that Hernandez was last seen driving. The license plate numbers also match.
The body has been sent to the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office for a positive investigation.
It’s not clear whether or not investigators believe that foul play is involved.
Houston’s missing persons unit was canvassing the area when they noticed what “was consistent with a vehicle striking the curb” before entering the water. They asked the dive team to search the man-made lake as a result.
“Our condolences go out to the family as they go through a painful time of waiting for a positive identification on one individual that was found inside the vehicle,” Deese said.
Hernandez's family do not know why she would be in Pearland, which is about 15 miles away from Houston. She is the mother of three children, the youngest being a 3-year-old boy.
“I mean, he was still asking for her just a few days ago,” her sister Ashley Hernandez told local outlet KHOU said of the toddler. “‘Is she coming back? When is she coming’?”
Hernandez worked at Community Health Choice, in the insurance department.
“She’s the type of mother who would do anything for us,” Hernandez’s 14-year-old daughter, Briza Armenta, told the Houston Chronicle.