Man charged in murder of Renton business owner whose body was found in Mexico

May 6, 2024, 5:54 PM

Photo: Reyna Hernandez, 54 years old....

Reyna Hernandez, 54 years old. (Photo: Renton Police Dept.)

(Photo: Renton Police Dept.)

A man has been charged with first-degree murder regarding the death of a Renton business owner, reported the Renton Police Department (RPD) via a Facebook post.

The man, 61-year-old, Lous Hernandez, currently remains in a Mexican jail but officials are working to bring him back to King County. Once back, Lous Hernandez will face trial for allegedly killing Reyna Hernandez. Prosecutors have asked for his bail to be set at $5 million.

Reyna Hernandez goes missing in February

Reyna Hernandez, a Renton hairdresser and business owner, went missing in February after she left her home to run errands and never returned.

Past coverage: Renton business owner missing since Feb. 26 found dead in Mexico

“She has not opened her business, which is highly unusual and she’s not answering her phone, which is out of character for Reyna,” Meeghan Black, a spokesperson with the Renton Police Department, told MyNorthwest.

The case was investigated as a possible kidnapping.

On March 8, detectives were alerted to a news article in Mexicali about an unidentified body found in a local cemetery on the Tijuana Highway. Investigators then contacted Mexican authorities and identified the body as Reyna Hernandez.

“This is the worst possible outcome, and our hearts go out to Reyna’s family and friends,” Investigations Commander Chandler Swain said, according to a press release. “We are working closely with Mexicali police and our U.S. Federal partners to determine when and where Reyna was killed.”

Lous Hernandez was subsequently arrested after officers recovered Reyna Hernandez’s vehicle. Detectives also confirmed with KIRO Newsradio the murder appeared to be related to domestic violence.

German Sahagun, whose family owns a Mexican restaurant next door to Reyna Hernandez’s salon, said, despite her generally being a “very outspoken, loud, friendly” person, Reyna Hernandez’s demeanor seemed unusual the last time he saw her — two days before she went missing, according to KOMO News.

“She was kind of quiet that day, which I thought was kind of odd,” he said. “Usually, she would say my nickname, she would call me Roman as a nickname. That day, she didn’t really respond to me. I said hello to her first, which she usually says hi to me first. I noticed (it) was kind of odd.”

Veronica Tapia, a friend of Hernandez’s for around 10 years, told KOMO News that Reyena Hernandez is not only a good person but is extremely known and loved within the community.

According to RPD, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Office of International Affairs of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are currently putting together an extradition request packet.

Once completed, the DOJ will formally request Lous Hernandez to be extradited from Mexico.

Contributing: Frank Sumrall, MyNorthwest; James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio

Julia Dallas is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read her stories here. Follow Julia on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email her here.

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