San Francisco, California, 2002
I’m sure this story will be familiar for many of you; a lovely young mother who disappeared just a week or so before she was due to give birth to her little boy. Nearly 3 months after her disappearance, this young woman’s torso, still donning maternity clothes, was found floating in the San Francisco Bay. The father of the unborn baby boy is most likely the culprit.
Does this sound like Laci Peterson? Same year, same area, same dumping spot, so many of the same details; must be her, right?
It’s not. I’m some ways this case may even be more upsetting than Laci; not only did pregnant 24 year old Evelyn Hernandez go missing on May 1st, but so did her five year old son, Alex.
Unlike Laci and her unborn son, Connor, Evelyn’s unborn infant son was never found, nor was Alex.
Evelyn was a young Salvadoran immigrant who had left her war torn country for a better life in the US at the young age of 14. She is described as a “simple girl”, very shy, but also an intelligent woman who was trying desperately to make a good life for herself. Evelyn cared very much about education, soon after moving here she began taking English classes. At age 17 she gave birth to Alex, the father of her first born child didn’t stick around but that didn’t deter Evelyn; the young mother finished school with a baby in tow. After graduation she became a vocational nurse and held additional part time jobs such as waitressing so she could be independent and provide for her child. Evelyn truly sounds like an amazing young woman.
At the time of her death, Evelyn had been in a relationship with 37 year old Herman Aguilera for about five years. She was in love, thought she’d met the man of her dreams. Friends say that Evelyn didn’t find out that Herman was a married man until 2001, after she was already pregnant with this new baby boy. Evelyn had zero intention of being the other woman; she broke off the relationship with Herman and the pregnant young mother tried to move on with her life. Then, just a week before she was to give birth, Evelyn and her son went missing. The young mother was last seen taking her son to daycare and stopping at an ATM.
Now it should’ve been evident immediately that this woman met with foul play. Pregnant women about to give birth don’t often vanish on their own accord, it’s very uncommon; it would’ve been even less likely for a very pregnant Evelyn to run away since she was a struggling single mom who would’ve been bringing her son with. Also, Evelyn had already packed a hospital bag in preparation for giving birth, the bag was still at home, as were her passport and that of her son’s. On top of this, just days after Evelyn went missing her wallet was discovered in South San Francisco just 2 blocks away from where her ex boyfriend, Herman, worked.
This case originally garnered next to zero media attention; a press conference was not even held for the pregnant woman and Alex until a month after they’d gone missing. Even on July 24th, which was the day Evelyn’s torso, still donning maternity clothes, was pulled out of the Bay nobody was talking about this tragedy. The only reason I am aware of this case right now is because Scott Peterson’s lawyer made such a big deal about the similarities in the two cases; this lead to an Americas Most Wanted segment about the case in 2003.
Scott Peterson’s lawyer and many of his supporters believe these two cases are connected. Maybe they are; maybe it’s coincidence, or is it possible that Scott, being from the same area, heard of this murder and decided to copycat it? Can it all be happenstance?
The murder of Evelyn, her missing unborn son, and missing 5 year old, Alex (presumed dead) are still unsolved. There was never enough evidence to charge anyone, but maybe there would’ve been had this case been a priority from the beginning.
There is now a reward of 100K for anyone who comes forward with information which leads to an arrest.