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

Investigators say Reyna Hernandez's death was an act of domestic violence

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

Renton Police Department/Facebook

Reyna Hernandez

An American woman who had not been seen since Feb. 26 has been found dead.

The body of Renton, Wash. resident Reyna Hernandez, 54, was recovered from a cemetery in Mexicali, Mexico. According to Seattle’s Fox 13, authorities confirmed there were signs of torture, saying Hernandez was bound at the hands and feet, and wrapped in a blanket.

She had also been shot in the head.

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Her death was also confirmed by the Renton Police Department through a statement shared to their Facebook account on Monday.

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

<p>Getty Images</p> crime scene -- stock image

Getty Images

crime scene -- stock image

Police added, “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 contacted Mexican authorities and were able to provide enough information to identify Hernandez over the weekend.”

Per the release, a 61-year-old Renton resident is currently in custody in Mexico, where they were also recovered Hernandez’s vehicle.

“Detectives say this was a domestic violence crime,” the department said in their Facebook post.

While investigators have confirmed her death to be a homicide, they must still determine if the act took place in the United States or Mexico to see if they will seek to extradite the suspect to face charges in that jurisdiction.

Related: South Carolina Man Pleads Guilty, Faces Life in Prison After Wife's Burned Body Discovered in 'Makeshift' Grave

In a March 5 report by local news station KIRO 7, Renton Police Department public information officer Meeghan Black told the media that they did suspect she could be in danger.

“They’ve served many search warrants and uncovered evidence that leads us to believe she was taken against her will. We do expect foul play in this case,” Black said.

Authorities also did not believe that her car was currently in the area following her disappearance.

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

Renton Police Department, WA/Facebook

Reyna Hernandez

After Hernandez’s body was found, the Renton Police Department said they were also able to recover her vehicle.

Hernandez had been reported missing by her friends on Feb. 28 when she failed to return home from running errands and did not open her small business in the Renton Highlands, police said.

German Sahagun had known Hernandez for a decade since his family’s restaurant was next door to her hair salon. When she first disappeared, he spoke to KOMO News about the last time he had seen her, adding that her behavior seemed a bit off.

“She was kind of quiet that day, which I thought was kind of odd,” he said.

Sahagun described Hernandez as a “very outspoken, loud, [and] friendly” person.

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