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Stabbing victim had wife, child back in Mexico

Scott Seitz2 • Jun 10, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Local law enforcement officers are calling on the public's help in bringing a pair of murder suspects to justice.

The suspects, or persons of interest, are brothers Misael Lopez and Hiram Emmanual Lopez.

The Lopez brothers are persons of interest in the apparent murder of Daniel Jacinto Hernandez, 24, of 4012 Baseline Road, Apt. 3, rural Willard.

Hernandez was stabbed to death sometime between May 31 and Sunday when his body was discovered by a farm field boss about 10 p.m. inside the Baseline Road apartment where he lived with the Lopez brothers. All three worked at nearby Wiers Farm.

Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard said it's likely the suspects have fled the area.

The suspects could be driving Hernandez's vehicle, which is a 2004 Dodge Stratus with the Virginia license plate, ZR7459.

The car is a four-door vehicle and silver in color. The vehicle has a small dent above the passenger side tail light. The car also has a flower-designed plate holder.

Warrants have been issued for the Lopez brothers for theft of a motor vehicle.

Hernandez was originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, Howard said Thursday during a press conference. (NOTE: To see pictures of the press conference, click HERE.)

Howard said Oaxaca is in the southern portion of Mexico and officers have had difficulty contacting Hernandez's family.

The sheriff said Thursday he would not speculate on a motive in the killing, but told the Reflector on Wednesday that alcohol might have played a role in the incident.

Howard stressed anyone with any information about the victim or suspects should call the HCSO at (419) 663-2828.

It's yet to be determined whether the victim and suspects were in the country legally, the sheriff said when asked.

The victim has a wife and child in Mexico, Howard said.

The suspects were reportedly, originally, from Mexico.

Howard said, by all accounts, the victim was a good young man and hard worker.

The sheriff added there was no local criminal history on the suspects.

"This was a very violent scene," Howard said, describing the apartment where Hernandez was killed.

"We believe folks in the Willard area possess information about the victim and persons of interest," the sheriff said previously.

The U.S. Marshals Office Fugitive Task Force, along with deputies from Crawford, Erie, Lorain, Ottawa and Richland counties have assisted with the case.

"This investigation is fast-paced and there is more field work to do," Howard said Wednesday.

Ben Wiers, president of Wiers Farm, said Thursday the victim and two suspects were part of the planting crews at the farm.

"From what I know, they had been here approximately a month," Wiers said.

Wiers said he didn't have a lot of contact with the workers, as he interacted with the crew leaders.

"Through other folks, I've learned he was a nice guy, with a wife and son," Wiers said about the victim.

"This is overwhelming," he said. "You just can't believe it.

"They're upset," he said about the Wiers Farm community. "We've never had any issue come close to something like this.

"Our people here are family-oriented," Wiers said, adding they enjoy soccer and had formed a team and played at different locations.

"It's hard to grasp something like this could occur," he added.

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