Suspects still at large in rural Willard slaying

Brothers may have had two-day head start, sheriff says.
Scott Seitz2
Jun 17, 2013


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.



They're long gone..Probably back in Mexico..


the unsolved murders of Americans in Willard is shameful,Huron co sheriff could have gotten some people to talk years ago but too late now


I wonder if the sheriff would have had a little better working relationship with the migrant workers if thing's would have been different. I recall awhile back he had a photo of 2 of them prone out in front of his SUV and photos were taken. I think they were on facebook. I don't recall what they did but I didn't think it warranted that. I don't know of any Spanish speaking Deputy's, as long as some of those guys have been there you would think they would take it upon themselves' to learn it. Now I know English is spoken here but the fact is Spanish is the 2nd. I don't think they all need to learn it but if a few would and maybe interact with them I don't think there would be such a commutation gap between them. I often wonder what the dispatchers would do if they got a 911 call in Spanish. Do they have a way to translate it?


Did you learn Spanish for your job? Do you speak Spanish? Do you want to be a deputy? I do not see you or anyone else volunteering to do this job. I was just watching tv the other night a show called Campus PD, it was like cops but all college kids. Showed Cancun Mexico spring break, those cops did NOT speak ENGLISH. It was very broken English, backwards and out of order English. Now your argument means that because they deal with American college kids and tourist they NEED to learn English . Well guess what they DO NOT LEARN OUR LANGUAGE. Do you think the cops in France learn English? How about in Germany? Do they know English?


I didnt have to learn it for my job, I do speak a little Spanish, I do not want to be a deputy. I was just wondering how there doing there investgation without speaking spanish. Words can be misunderstood or left out in translation. Do they have a translater? Are they court approved?


Do you think if this situation was in MEXICO they would worry about a court approved translator? NO. "I didn't have to learn it for my job".......the sheriff deputies do NOT need to learn it for theirs either.

finally free

But this did not happen in Mexico. This happened in Willard, Ohio, where in the months between April and October, the population doubles with Spanish speaking people. You would think that cops would take it upon their selves to learn at least a little bit of Spanish. Nobody is asking you to learn or teach it so why get so defensive???


Sometimes, when we Americans hear or read of another crime happening here and it's dealing with Mexicans, we get frustrated. We can't stop them from coming into the United States. BUT, if they can't understand us then that's their problem! We should not have to learn Spanish in our own community. I say - SHIP THEM BACK from where they came from. Unfortunately, this crime happened here so when and if they are caught it will again be our tax dollars that will keep them in jail. I've said it a million, medical, schooling, daycare, and jail/prison..when will it stop?? NEVER

swiss family

my deepest sympathy to this mans family and friends... I certainly hope that the authorities can piece this together and find the people responsible for this, BUT to put all of the blame on the County Sheriff's Department, is misdirected at best.

I understand that these murders happened outside of the city of Willard, thus making it PARTLY up to the county Sheriff's dept. but I also feel that the Sheriff's dept has an awful lot of responsibilities to handle every situation extensively.. It might be their job, on paper, but I would guess that all of the people who are "talking" or not "talking" are more inside the city. If we learned anything, from the major drug bust that just took place across the state, it hopefully will be that if all of the law enforcement agencies work with each other..problems can be answered in my opinion


The article states that the victim and the persons of interest where not in the country leagally. #1-Were they employeed at the farm and #2 Does the farm allow just anyone to live there? I thought there were laws in place to prohibit these folks from working and living here. One could easily assume that once again-the laws are being disregarded.


Fact here....Every employee at all the farms have LEGAL paperwork.The fines for knowingly hiring illegals would bankrupt the farms.It's not impossible to obtain paperwork and I guarantee that nobody can tell if it's real or not by only looking at it.


Only universal language is nessesary.


Most recognized sound in the world is a shotgun being pumped...


OMG...I love this comment!




please make no excuses for the unsolved murders of young people in willard,anyone that does is just sucking up,go suck somewhere else,furthermore you have to have connections to get into any of the local police or fire depts.


The majority, if not all of the workers out there are illegal!! Their kids go to our schools, also. AND you cannot tell me that the other illegals out there know nothing about what happened......and to the money hungry owners that bus these illegals in every spring----you need to hold some responsibility for the criminals YOU bring in here...Does anyone know why these owners have not been stopped from bussing these people in here??? I know it has been questioned numerous times, but no one seems to know the answers.. And I do believe there was an interpreter at the crime scene. As far police/dispatchers having to learn Spanish to accommodate them, that is INSANE.....why don't the illegals learn English?????

believe it

Just curious if you would ever do their jobs?


Never ever in the history of the Willard farms has one of the farms ever bussed illegals or any other worker there.Some people love to fabricate things that are completely made up in their own small brain.


There are more Americans sitting on there computers collecting off our goverment than willing to do the jobs the people in the fields do!!


True statement and I am willing to bet a nice chunk of them post on this forum.

finally free



FACT - Almost none of the folks that work at the muck farms are here legally. Another FACT - Border Patrol agents were told to stay away from Willard. If the HCSO starts deporting people who don't know anything I bet the people will start to remember real fast where the two wanted people are. Last FACT - Not enough Americans are willing to do the hard work provided by the immigrants so we might as well get used to them being here to do it. As long as we have government money being tossed to those who refuse to work, they will not work.


Hard to stay out of this one. NO, I will not work at the muck. Yes, I have my own job and pay taxes. Weirs do not intentionally hire illegal workers. They are not stupid. The regular joe out there reading these comments is NOT stupid. We all know this had to be a drug deal gone bad and EVERYONE has compassion for the families. The people who committed this crime had a 2 day start; they are probably in Florida or Mexico or someplace sure as he** not in Huron County. We need to address the violence people! It is right here in our faces.
No one deserves to be murdered over pot stashes or heroine fixes. I am sick sick sick of all the death and destruction. Close the borders and increase the legal penalties. Build more prisons if that is what it takes. Whatever we are doing is damn sure not working.


Did any of you have a fake ID or know of someone who had a fake ID in college? You know, those ones that look so real they can get you into a bar and get your hands on some alcohol. They are easy to make and easy to get. So easy that many college students buy them. Well, getting a job in the U.S. is that easy too. Get a fake driver's license, state ID, green card, social security card, etc., and you have done all you need to be hired by any law-abiding employer. Employers have a list of documents that they must accept from any applicants if the documents look real. To reject a document merely on "suspicions" that someone might be illegal opens an employer to potential racial/ethnic discrimination lawsuits. The employees provide the documents, and the employees sign on the Federal Form I-9 swearing that they are authorized to work in the U.S. That is all the employer is required to do. All workers on the muck are documented and have signed I-9 Forms. And on a final note, when did it become the responsibility of employers to enforce Federal immigration laws? Last time I checked, they were in business to provide goods and services, NOT to help enforce our immigration laws as a free service to our Federal government without any reimbursement or training from said government.


Tuffnuts,your 1st fact is way way off base.I'm closer to the situation than you.The vast majority,and I mean 90+% are here legally.100% have legal paperwork.Most are families that have been coming from the Rio Grande Valley for generations.Coopers is correct,Wiers in no way hire illegals,the penalties are way to strong and they most certainly are enforced.I do doubt it was a drug deal gone bad,they appeared to have been roomates,a very bad drunk gone bad probably.Many of the migrants drink and/or smoke weed but hard drugs aren't typically in their character.At least 1 farm out there has done random monthly drug testing administered by Mercy for years and has 4 fails.Guess what? All white hillbilly trash.BTW Mercy randomly picks the employess,not the farm.


Aww Hankster, are you having a bad day...are you a Mexican? Or is your mommy or daddy??

We don't intend to hurt your feelings...


I do know that a certain bank in Willard has a list of names of migrant workers that for whatever reason can't set up a bank account normally. They can get their checks cashed there still with no ID. I also know that an illegal Mexican rented the place next to me and worked at one of the farms. I found this out after a police officer came to my house and informed us that he had a warrent out for him in Mexico and numerous other states. So something doesn't add up there. Some how an illegal was getting a check, cashing it tax free from the farms and had someone rent to him. I feel that when you start allowing illegals to work on your farms and make it available for them to have cash you're setting yourself up for something like this to happen.

believe it

Lots of confusion with this post...

finally free

Tax free???? Every single one of them hard workers, legal or not, they pay the exact same taxes as every other hard working American. The only difference, they do the work that hardly nobody "legal" would do. And people still cry and complain about them being here? But at the same time these same people are buying this same hand picked produce from Walmart, Meijer, Save-A-Lot, Misslers, ect. for low prices. Kick these "illegals" out, and see you is going to do that exact same work, for the exact same pay. Or they will want a raise, so that means produce prices will go up and they will complain about that.