Funeral held for murdered NJ kindergarten teacher Luz Hernandez

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Funeral held for murdered NJ kindergarten teacher
A funeral was held for the Jersey City teacher whose body was discovered in a shallow grave last week in Kearny. Toni Yates has the story.

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A memorial service was held Wednesday for the Jersey City teacher whose body was discovered in a shallow grave last week in Kearny.

The funeral procession passed by the BelovED Community Charter School, where Luz Hernandez was a kindergarten teacher.

The hearse drove into the parking lot of the school where staff members lined the sidewalk and wept as they laid flowers on her casket.

"Luz touched a lot of lives and people are devastated and it's still tough," school founder Bret Schundler said. "The way that she touched others, the way they feel about her, shows the kind of person she was."

Hernandez leaves behind three young children who are left without both parents.

Her estranged husband, Cesar Santana, 36, of Jersey City, is accused of killing her and was arrested last Friday morning at a motel in Miami, Florida.

Police are still searching for 26-year-old Leiner Miranda Lopez, also of Jersey City.

"It's heartbreaking, it's touching, she had children, she was a school teacher, when anything like this happens, it's just support for the community, support for the school," bus attendant Miss T said.

Hernandez's body was discovered last Tuesday in a shallow grave in Kearny. Last week, an autopsy revealed she died of blunt force trauma to the head and compressions to the neck.

A GoFundMe has been established for the victim's children.

Hernandez's loved ones said they are grateful for the widespread support and money raised through GoFundMe to support her three children.

"Our main concern is to keep the children safe and make sure they have a happy life," cousin Yajaira Germosen said.

The family said at some point it will hold a public memorial for the teacher they loved and they will always cherish what she did for students at the school.

Anyone with information on the suspects is urged to contact the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office at 201-915-1345.

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