Woman whose body was found in South Kearny was victim of homicide, Suarez says; blows to head and strangulation were causes

Luz Hernandez Facebook image

The death of Luz Hernandez, the 33-year-old Jersey City schoolteacher whose body was found in a shallow piece of land in South Kearny earlier this week, has been ruled a homicide, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said today.

Preliminary findings of the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office via autopsy performed Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, determined Hernandez died of blunt force trauma to the head and compressions to the neck, Suarez said.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, the Jersey City Police Department conducted a welfare check on Van Horne Street on a missing person’s report. The findings resulted in the Jersey City Police Department contacting the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office for assistance.

During the course of the investigation, intelligence provided by the Kearny Police Department led officers from Kearny and the Homicide Unit to locate what appeared to be a shallow grave in the area of Central Avenue and Third Street in South Kearny.

The body was identified as Hernandez’s when it was recovered a short time later and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Hernandez had been reported missing Monday, Feb. 6, 2023.

Hernandez was a kindergarten teacher at BelovED Charter School, Downtown Jersey City, and had three children of her own. She was the second Jersey City teacher to be slain in a week’s period.

The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit is actively investigating this case with assistance from the Jersey City and Kearny police departments.

No arrests have been made as yet. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Office of the Hudson

County Prosecutor at (201) 915-1345 or to leave an anonymous tip at www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip. All information will be kept confidential.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.