Erica Hernandez, 40, of Houston, Texas, United States left a friend’s home in Houston at around 2:45 a.m. on April 17, 2021. That was the last time she was seen alive.
Hernandez worked at Community Health Choice in Houston, where she verified insurance benefits. She owned a black GMC Acadia.
A single mother, Hernandez lived with her one daughter and two sons. The daughter named Briza Armenta, 14, is the oldest while the youngest one is a boy born in 2017.
The search for Hernandez involved not only the Houston Police Department but also Texas EquuSearch and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A tip led the investigators to a lake in a subdivision.
On May 11, 2021, the Houston Police Department announced that its dive team recovered a sports utility vehicle that matched the make, model and license plate of Hernandez’s black GMC Acadia in a man-made lake in Pearland, Texas. A body was inside the SUV, which was submerged in the pond near the intersection of Reflection Bay and North Clear Lake.
The investigators found out that the SUV struck a curb near one pond at the intersection. The damage found on the vehicle was consistent with striking a curb.
“We found her car but we still need to keep going,” KHOU quoted Hernandez’s sister Ashley Hernandez as saying. “There’s no reason for her to be over here. I think somebody had to have made her go in this direction for whatever reason.”
On May 12, 2021, it was confirmed that the person found inside the SUV was Hernandez and she was the only person there. The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office is still investigating the cause of her death.
“It is very early in this investigation so we’re still waiting to learn details on any and all causes of the death of Ms. Hernandez,” the Houston Chronicle quoted Houston Police Department commander Kevin Deese as saying. He said he could not disclose the tip that led officers to the lake.