Family of murder victim speaks to News 12 for first time since her death

News 12 spoke with the family of Luz Hernandez for the first time since her death earlier this year.

Eliecer Marte and Rob Taub

Aug 11, 2023, 2:51 AM

Updated 252 days ago

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News 12 spoke with the family of Luz Hernandez for the first time since her death earlier this year.
Hernandez, a beloved kindergarten teacher, was found in a shallow grave in Kearny in February. The father of Hernandez’s three children, Cesar Santana, remains behind bars awaiting trial after being charged in the connection to her death.
Santana has been charged with first-degree murder, along with hindering, failing to dispose of human remains and tampering with physical evidence.
"She was not a bad person,” said Lourdes Taveras, Hernandez’s sister. ”She didn't deserve to die like that."
An autopsy revealed Hernandez, 33, died of blunt force trauma to the head and compression to the neck after being beaten and strangled.
"I can't find an explanation to this,” added Taveras. “I really can't."
"She was a loved member of the community,” said Luisana Medina, Hernandez’s cousin. “Everybody loved her, especially parents. They had their kids in kindergarten with her. She was a kindergarten teacher for so many years and that is why she gets so much love from kids. A lot of support from the community."
Santana was arrested on Feb. 10 in Miami. According to authorities, the 37-year-old had five cell phones with him at that time, two of them belonging to Hernandez. Santana was arraigned on May 5 and pleaded not guilty.
Santana is expected back in court on Sept. 11.


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