Watch CBS News

Jersey City kindergarten teacher Luz Hernandez found dead in Kearny

Missing Jersey City teacher Luz Hernandez found dead in Kearny
Missing Jersey City teacher Luz Hernandez found dead in Kearny 01:54

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- A Jersey City kindergarten teacher and mother of three was found dead Tuesday.

What was once a seemingly normal home is now a crime scene and memorial with mourners paying their respects.

"She was always happy. She loved kids. She became a teacher because she loved being around kids," said Christino Hernandez, the victim's brother.

When 33-year-old Luz Hernandez didn't show up to work at Beloved Community Charter School on Monday, prosecutors say a welfare check led police to her Van Horne Street home. What they found inside led them to believe a crime had occurred.

"What can you say, you know? This is something you would never expect, especially in this neighborhood," neighbor Henry Judson said.

Hernandez's body was found buried in a shallow grave in Kearny at Central Avenue and Third Street. It's a deserted, industrial area 3.5 miles away from her home.

It's unclear if surveillance cameras in the area captured whoever dumped her body.

Detectives have been busy with the investigation.

"Within the last two days, it's been very chaotic around here with cops coming in and out," a neighbor said.

Wednesday night, students came to pay their respects.

"She was going to ring her doorbell because she didn't see her for two days and, today, I guess the school was closed, then they called and.... She's crying now," parent Steve Castro said.

Hernandez leaves behind three children, the youngest only 2 years old. We're told they are now with Hernandez's mother.

So far, no arrests have been made.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.