The body of a woman found in a submerged SUV on Tuesday has been identified as a missing mother of three, police in Pearland, Texas, announced Wednesday.
A Pearland Police Department news release posted on Facebook said Erica Hernandez’s body was positively identified by the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office, however, Fox News reported that the cause of death has not been determined. Pearland police announced Hernandez’s body was found on Tuesday by dive teams that helped pull her vehicle out of a retention pond. After pulling the SUV out of the water and inspecting it, investigators determined that the SUV was likely submerged since the day Hernandez disappeared.
The 40-year-old mother of three went missing last month after she left a friend’s house in Houston, Texas the morning of April 18, according to Fox News. After her disappearance, authorities and community volunteers spent weeks searching for Hernandez. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly shared a tip that led police to the retention pond. Near the pond, investigators found evidence that a vehicle hit a curb and drove into the water, according to the outlet.
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) May 12, 2021
Police have not released more details about the tip that ultimately led to finding Hernandez’s body and said that “the investigation into the death of Ms. Hernandez is still active and ongoing.” (RELATED: Texas Mom Convicted For Selling Her Son And Trying To Sell Her Two Daughters To Pay Off Drug Debt)
Pearland police also extended their “condolences to the family and everyone affected by this tragedy.”
Hernandez’s family told KHOU-TV that they still want more answers — namely, why Hernandez was in Pearland in the first place. “Her story is not finished yet,” Ashley Hernandez, Erica’s sister, said. “It’s like it just begun.”