New Jersey

Shovel and Bloody Rope Found in Car Linked to Ex of NJ Teacher Found in Shallow Grave, Affidavit Says

A second person, Lenier Miranda Lopez, 26, was charged with desecrating human remains, the prosecutor’s office said; Lopez remains at large

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Days before the body of a New Jersey teacher was found in a shallow grave, authorities impounded a car linked to her former partner that had a pickax, a shovel and a bloodstained rope inside it, according to court documents released last week.

The details were in an affidavit supporting a murder charge against Cesar Santana, 36, in the death of Luz Hernandez, 33, a kindergarten teacher at a Jersey City charter school.

Santana was also charged with hindering, tampering with physical evidence and failing to dispose of human remains in a manner prescribed by law, the Hudson County prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

He was arrested at a motel in Miami on Feb. 10 and extradited to New Jersey on Tuesday night, the prosecutor’s office said.

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