The investigation into the recent murder of rural Willard resident Daniel Jacinto Hernandez continues to be the top priority for the Huron County Sheriff's Office.
Hernandez, 24, of 4012 Baseline Road, Apt. 3, was found stabbed to death June 2 at the apartment he shared with brothers Misael Lopez and Hiram Emmanuel Lopez.
The Lopez brothers are the persons of interest or suspects in the case.
Sheriff Dane Howard said the Lopez brothers might have fled the area in a 2004 Dodge Stratus which belonged to Hernandez.
A warrant has been issued for the Lopez brothers for theft of a motor vehicle.
Howard said Hernandez might have been murdered up to two days before his body was discovered by a farm field boss.
"That's important to know that these persons of interest could have had a two-day head start," Howard said. "That makes it that much tougher."
If the Lopez brothers fled to Mexico, extradition won't be easy, Howard said.
"We haven't confirmed they are there, but we understand the extradition process is extremely difficult," the sheriff said.
Detective Sgt. Josh Querin said officers expected to be in contact with Hernandez's family in Mexico soon.
"We've obtained the victim's family's phone number," Querin said, adding it was first believed the family resided in Oaxaca, Mexico, but it was later learned they lived in Veracruz, Mexico.
"We continue to follow up on leads," Detective Bill Duncan said.
"We've had about a dozen tips from callers," Querin said.
"We very much appreciate the tips," Howard added.
"We also believe, from the information we've obtained, the victim and persons of interest were not in this country legally," Howard said.
Howard said motive has not been established in the case.
"We believe strongly there are folks in the Willard area who can assist with this case, but who are either afraid to or chosen not to talk to us," Howard said.
The sheriff's office is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.
"We believe the suspects have used Facebook and other social media, under other names, to contact other people in the Willard area," Querin said.
Querin said people in the Willard area are believed to have either current or past cell phone numbers of the suspects.
"We're still identifying new people to talk to," Duncan said.