American Woman Found Tortured, Killed in Mexico Was Going to See Boyfriend Before She Disappeared: Family

Reyna Hernandez went missing from Washington State and was found tortured and killed in Mexico days later

<p>Fox 13 Seattle/YouTube, Renton Police Department, WA/Facebook</p> Sara Carillo (L), Reyna Hernandez (R)

Fox 13 Seattle/YouTube, Renton Police Department, WA/Facebook

Sara Carillo (L), Reyna Hernandez (R)
  • Authorities tell PEOPLE they are investigating Reyna Hernandez's death as a "domestic violence crime"

  • A 61-year-old detained on unrelated charges has been named a suspect, per police

  • Hernandez's sister says her sister had shown up to work with a black eye before her disappearance, per FOX 13

An American missing woman found tortured and killed in Mexico was reportedly going home to speak with her boyfriend of 30 years before she disappeared, her family says.

Reyna Hernandez, 54, was last seen on Feb. 26 in Renton, Wash. before being found dead in a cemetery in Mexicali, Mexico, on March 8, authorities said Tuesday.

Authorities have since identified a 61-year-old Renton resident as a suspect, who was detained in Mexico on unrelated charges, the Renton Police Department said in Tuesday’s statement.

Her sister, Sara Carillo, says the last time she spoke with Hernandez was on Feb. 24 and she “sounded happy,” according to FOX 13.

Related: Authorities Investigating if Missing American Found in Cemetery Was Tortured, Killed in U.S. or Mexico

Hernandez, a hair salon owner, had gone dancing that evening, Carillo told the outlet, and went to church the next day.

On Feb. 26, she saw her friends and told them she was going to speak with her boyfriend – a man who had been her partner for 30 years, Carillo says. After that, her phone started going unanswered.

Hernandez’s clients told Carillo that before she disappeared, she had shown up to the salon with a black eye, according to her interview with the outlet.

A spokesperson for the Renton Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE that they are investigating Hernandez’s killing as a “domestic violence crime.”

“We believe there was a relationship between Ms. Hernandez and the person in custody,” the department's spokesperson said.

<p>Renton Police Department/Facebook</p> Reyna Hernandez

Renton Police Department/Facebook

Reyna Hernandez

Related: Missing American Found Tortured to Death in Mexico Cemetery: 'The Worst Possible Outcome'

Hernandez was reported missing on Feb. 28 by her friends when she did not return home, police said on Facebook at the time, adding that they suspected foul play.

Nearly ten days later, Renton police learned about an “unidentified body” found in Mexicali and suspected it might be that of Hernandez, according to Tuesday’s statement.

She was found wrapped in a blanket, with her hands and feet bound, showing signs of torture, authorities said, Fox 13 reported previously.

Police provided information to Mexican authorities who were then able to determine that the body belonged to Hernandez.

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Authorities have disclosed few details about the circumstances of Hernandez's disappearance and killing, such as the nature, time and place of the crimes.

Renton police say they are “working closely” with Mexicali authorities and U.S. Federal officials in their investigation.

If they learn the homicide took place on U.S. soil, police note that they will seek extradition for the suspect to be charged in the relevant jurisdiction.

A Renton police spokesperson told PEOPLE regardless of the location of the killing, they will be pursuing kidnapping charges against the offender.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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