Published On: Mon, May 28th, 2018

Kansas: Missing 5-year-old Wichita boy Lucas Hernandez identified as the body found under bridge

Harvey County Police confirmed that the decomposing body of a child found under a bridge is the missing Wichita boy, Lucas Hernandez.

Lucas, 5, was found after his stepmother, Emily Glass, 27, led a private investigator to the scene. The boy was identified following an autopsy, using his dental records.

The investigator, David Marshburn, called police about the body and officers met him and Glass at the scene. Marshburn said he was hired by the boy’s father. He told police he arrived in Wichita from Smithfield, North Carolina, this week, Ramsay said.

Lucas Hernandez

Law enforcement officers were called to the scene near Sedgwick in Harvey County on Thursday night after Lucas’ 27-year-old stepmother, Emily Glass, led a private investigator to the remains about 20 miles north of Wichita, Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said at a news conference.

Marshburn, who owns Marshburn’s Investigation Agency, told The Associated Press in a phone interview as he was driving back to North Carolina that he spent less than 11 hours with Glass before finding the body.

Law enforcement officials have to consider a suspect’s constitutional rights — such as reading them their Miranda rights against self-incrimination — and all that is intimidating to some, Marshburn said, adding that he and his assistant, Marsha Ward, actually use “lesser aggressive tactics toward people” than police.

“I just call it being nice, I call it being civil. It’s just the way I do things,” Marshburn said. “It’s hard to describe and it’s hard to say…I am not going to spill the secret of how we do it.”

“All those roads look alike, all those bridges look the same, all those woods — everything just looks the same. And then you go from winter to summer, I mean things just change, and you are dealing with a person whose mind is not even clear all the time,” Marshburn said of piecing together the right spot after four hours. “We had to do it step by step.”

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said in an email Friday that his office will review early next week the results of the autopsy, as well as evidence gathered by law enforcement throughout this investigation.

When asked if other arrests are possible, Ramsay said only that the investigation is still “very active.”

Glass reported Lucas missing from their home on Feb. 17. Glass told police she last saw Lucas playing in his bedroom before she took a shower and fell asleep. He was gone when she woke up from her nap. She has not been charged in the boy’s disappearance, but Bennett previously said she is a person of interest in the case.

The boy’s father, Jonathan Hernandez, was not at home when Lucas disappeared. Glass cared for her daughter and Lucas while he worked out of state for weeks at a time.

Lucas’ biological mother didn’t live in the Wichita area when he disappeared.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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