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Missing Washington state woman found dead in a Mexico cemetery

Reyna Hernandez hadn't been seen for two weeks when authorities discovered that an unidentified body in Mexico was hers.
Missing Washington state woman found dead in a Mexico cemetery
Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-13 19:44:52-04

The body of a missing Washington state woman has been found in a Mexico cemetery, authorities said Monday. 

Reyna Hernandez disappeared from her home in Renton, Washington, on Feb. 26, and two days later, her friends reported her missing when she didn't open up her hair salon, police said.

While investigating the case Friday, Renton detectives said they were directed to a news article from Mexicali, Mexico — situated right across the U.S. border — that reported an unidentified body was found in a cemetery along the Tijuana Highway. This prompted police to contact Mexican authorities over the weekend, and the information they shared allowed them to identify the body as that of 54-year-old Hernandez.

Officials said Mexican law enforcement arrested a 61-year-old Renton resident on unrelated charges, but Renton police noted the person is a suspect in Hernandez's death, which detectives say was a "domestic violence crime."

Renton police's initial report about Hernandez's disappearance said foul play was suspected and that evidence recovered upon serving multiple search warrants indicated she was taken against her will. 

SEE MORE: Emergency crews search river for missing college student Riley Strain

Other details regarding Hernandez's case, other than that her vehicle was recovered in Mexico, have not been shared with the public. The same goes for the suspect in Mexican custody. 

However, Hernandez's family told FOX 13 that the suspect was her partner. The publication also said authorities confirmed her body showed signs of torture, including that she was shot in the head and bound at the hands and feet then wrapped in a blanket.

"This is the worst possible outcome, and our hearts go out to Reyna's family and friends," said Chandler Swain, Renton Police Department's investigations commander.

Renton police said the department is now working with federal and Mexicali authorities to confirm how, when and where the homicide was committed. If it occurred in the U.S., Renton police said the suspect would be extradited to the relevant jurisdiction to face charges.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has been set up to raise funds to bring Hernandez's body home.


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