MISSOURI CITY, Texas - A vehicle found underwater in Missouri City early Thursday morning turned out not to be the one belonging to missing Houston mother Erica Hernandez.
Search crews tell us they have been using sonar to scan bodies of water in the southwest area of Houston as they continue looking for any trace of her or the black SUV she was driving when she disappeared.
Hernandez hasn’t been seen since she left her best friend’s house in southwest Houston around 2:30 a.m. on April 18, according to her sister Ashley Hernandez.
Texas Equusearch has been coordinating with Houston Police detectives to help in the search, scouring a five-mile radius of where Erica Hernandez and her black GMC Acadia were last seen.
Buffalo Run Park happens to be in that radius, and that’s where a vehicle was discovered on sonar Thursday morning.
"We don’t really have good news, and we don’t really have bad news," said Executive Asst. Chief Larry Satterwhite with Houston Police, announcing the unrelated truck their divers identified in the water. "We’re thankful—very thankful—that we have not found her in this situation obviously."
After the truck was found, the Equusearch crew got back in their boat and continued scanning the lake.
"We talked to detectives, and they asked if I’d be willing to bring a boat out and do sonar on this area, and said yeah we’ll do it," said Tim Miller, founder of Texas Equusearch. "It doesn’t look like it’s gonna be a happy ending. I mean we’ve done many of these, and our hopes are there’s just going to be an ending."
Miller says his crews are looking at any bodies of water in the radius of where Hernandez disappeared.
"My greatest hope is that we’re gonna find her in whatever condition it is, and she’ll be able to recover from the trauma," said Erica’s sister Ashley.
Erica’s family is holding out hope and planning a big search for her this weekend.
"Her children aren’t gonna have their mom for the first time on Mother’s Day, so it’s going to be hard," said Hernandez.
The public is asked to keep an eye out for 40-year-old Erica Hernandez. She has waist-length dark brown hair, a nose piercing, glasses, a koala bear tattoo on her left shoulder blade, and was last seen in a teal tee, jeans, and tennis shoes.
Her black GMC Acadia SUV has license plates that read "MKJ 3303."