The police have charged the former spouse of a kindergarten teacher with her murder after evidence, such as a bloody rope and a shovel, was found in his car.

Cesar Santana, aged 36, has been accused of murdering Luz Hernandez, a 33-year-old kindergarten teacher and mother of three.

February 24th 2023.

The police have charged the former spouse of a kindergarten teacher with her murder after evidence, such as a bloody rope and a shovel, was found in his car.

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Cesar Santana has been accused of killing his former wife Luz Hernandez after her corpse was discovered in a shallow grave.

The ex-husband of a New Jersey kindergarten teacher is facing a murder charge in the wake of unearthing the body of his ex-wife in a shallow grave.

Cesar Santana, 36, is accused of murdering 33-year-old Luz Hernandez, a kindergarten teacher and mother of three.

Hernandez was reported missing on Monday, February 6 after she failed to appear for work at BelovED Charter School.

Law enforcement officials conducted a wellness check at her residence in Jersey City the next day, where they detected sign of blood stains in her room and a faint smell of bleach.

Santana, the father of Hernandez's children and her ex-husband, was immediately identified as a suspect. After a lookout was issued for his car, police in the nearby town of Kearny informed Jersey City detectives that they had Santana's car impounded.

Kearny police had taken the vehicle into custody the Sunday prior to Hernandez's disappearance after a traffic stop. The car was impounded due to it being unregistered.

Hernandez's body was located in a shallow grave in a commercial area of Kearny not far from where the traffic stop occurred. Eventually, an autopsy revealed that Hernandez died from blunt force trauma to the head and compression to the neck.

Police also obtained a search warrant for the car, where they uncovered a bloodied rope, a shovel, and a pickaxe, according to an affidavit obtained by NBC News.

According to the partially-redacted affidavit, a witness also reported seeing Santana hauling a large plastic bin out of Hernandez's home the night of Saturday, February 4.

Police instantly began looking for Santana, who had fled the state for Florida. He was apprehended by US Marshals at a motel in Miami and repatriated back to New Jersey.

He was initially only charged with desecrating and concealing human remains. His charges were raised to murder on Wednesday.

Santana's acquaintance, Leiner Miranda Lopez, 26, was also charged with concealing human remains. Miranda Lopez is still on the run.

The Hudson County Prosecutor's Office said extra charges may be expected for the suspects, as the investigation is ongoing.

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