Missing Washington woman Reyna Hernandez found dead in Mexico: Cops have suspect in custody

Reyna Hernandez poses for a selfie
Renton PD announced yesterday that Reyna Hernandez’s remains had been found in a Mexican cemetery. Pic credit: Renton Police Department

The police in Renton, Washington, confirmed yesterday that a body found near a highway in Mexicali, Mexico, belonged to Reyna Hernandez, who has been missing for two weeks.

The 54-year-old Reyna was last seen by a friend near her home in South Renton, WA, on February 26, 2024. Reyna told the friend she was running a few errands and would be visiting a home in South Renton. She and her car subsequently vanished.

Reyna’s friends reported her missing a couple of days later when she failed to open her hair salon in Renton Highlands.

The Renton cops issued an urgent appeal, releasing a description of her and her vehicle. They stated it was highly unusual for Reyna not to answer her phone or open her business.

On March 8, detectives came across a newspaper article from Mexicali, Mexico, reporting that the body of an unidentified woman had been found in a cemetery near the Tijuana Highway.

The Mexican authorities were able to provide Renton detectives with enough information over the weekend that they confirmed the body and the remains belonged to Reyna.

Investigators are working to find out how Reyna Hernandez died

Investigations Commander Chandler Swain described the discovery as “the worst possible outcome, and our hearts go out to Reyna’s family and friends.”

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The investigators are awaiting the outcome of an autopsy, which will determine when and how Reyna died and if her death is a homicide.

Swain explained, “We are working closely with Mexicali police and our US Federal partners to determine when and where Reyna was killed.”

Police believe Reyna Hernandez was victim of domestic abuse

However, the Renton cops have already said that evidence suggests Reyna was taken against her and that she was likely a victim of domestic abuse.

The Mexican police have also located Reyna’s car and have arrested a 61-year-old male Renton resident. He was placed in custody on an unrelated matter but is now suspected of being involved in Reyna’s death.

Renton PD spokesperson Meeghan Black told reporters, “Detectives have not been super clear on what (their) relationship is, this person has not yet been charged, so once we get all of those facts together we will be able to give you more information.”

Black also said that once the authorities figure out the timeline that led to Reyna’s death, they will then determine who has the jurisdiction in this case. The US authorities will then likely seek an extradition for the suspect.

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