Estranged Husband Arrested in Connection With Slaying of Kindergarten Teacher, Family and Authorities Say

Slain Teacher
The body of slain New Jersey teacher Luz Hernandez was found in a shallow grave, police said.GoFundMe

The estranged husband of slain kindergarten teacher Luz Hernandez has been arrested in connection with her killing, according to her family and authorities.

A man has been arrested in connection with the slaying of New Jersey kindergarten teacher Luz Hernandez, whose battered body was found earlier this week in a shallow grave near her home, authorities said Friday.

Cesar Santana, 36, of Jersey City, was arrested early Friday at a motel in Miami, police said. According to Hernandez's family, he is the woman's estranged husband and the father of her three children.

Santana is being held in Florida on a fugitive warrant and is awaiting extradition to New Jersey, authorities said. Police are also seeking a second man, 26-year-old Leiner Miranda Lopez, in connection with the case, police said.

Both have been charged with desecrating and concealing human remains, authorities said.

Hernandez's body was found Tuesday, one day after she was reported missing when she didn't show up for work at Beloved Charter School.

Her family told WABC-TV that the couple had separated in November, but continued living in the same house. A GoFundMe accounthas been established for her children. 

Police performed a welfare check at Hernandez's Jersey City home and found evidence of a crime scene, authorities said.

Investigators learned Santana and Miranda Lopez had been pulled over on a traffic stop Sunday, near Hernandez's home, authorities said. Their vehicle was impounded, and was inspected Tuesday by investigators who found evidence connected to the slain woman, authorities said.

An autopsy conducted Thursday concluded the woman had been beaten and strangled, authorities said.

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