A vehicle belonging to Erica Hernandez, a woman who went missing in Texas three weeks ago, was pulled from a pond Tuesday in Pearland.
Hernandez, a 40-year-old a mother of three, went missing on April 18, after last being seen leaving a friend's house in southwest Houston at around 2:45 a.m. local time. Hernandez's family and several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have been searching for her since then.
In a press conference on Tuesday night, according to local news channel Kens5, investigators said that a body had been found in the black 2020 GMC Acadia.
The news channel added that investigators had offered condolences to the Hernandez family but had not yet identified the body, as they are waiting for the results of an autopsy.
The car was discovered in a pond near the intersection of Reflection Bay and North Clear Lake.
Police said the FBI provided information that led them to the pond, adding that it appeared that the SUV had been submerged for a while. Finding damage on the vehicle, investigators said it looked it had hit a curb before falling into the water.
Investigators did not comment on whether they expected this to be a case of foul play, or whether there were any additional people of interest.
The family visited the scene on Tuesday as investigators removed the vehicle and dive teams searched the water.
Video: Updates after Erica Hernandez's SUV was pulled from Pearland pond (KHOU-TV Houston)
"I appreciate everybody. Every post. Every share. Every prayer. Every thought. Every kind word," Erica's sister Ashley Hernandez told local news channel Kens5.
"We found her car, but we still need to keep going," she added. "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."
Ashley Hernandez says her sister's youngest child, a 3-year-old boy, still thinks his mother will return home.
"I mean, he was still asking for her just a few days ago. Is she coming back? When is she coming? She (his grandmother) just tells him, 'She'll be back later,'" Ashley Hernandez said.
The family wasn't told when the body will be identified, Ashley Hernandez said.
"We still need to find out why she is here. Who did what? What led her to this location?" she said.
Newsweek has contacted Pearland Police Department for further comment.
On May 6, investigators found a vehicle underwater in Buffalo Run Park in Missouri City, but said it did not belong to Hernandez.
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