Breaking News: Decomposing Body Found Under Bridge Identified As Missing 5-Year-Old Kansas Boy

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A decomposing body of a child was found under a bridge in central Kansas. The body was identified by an autopsy and dental records to be that of 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez, a Wichita boy who has been missing since February, police have confirmed on Friday.

Officers were contacted to the scene in Harvey County on Thursday night, after Lucas’ 27-year-old stepmother, Emily Glass, had taken a private investigator to the remains near the town of Sedgwick, which is about 20 miles north of Wichita, Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said at a news conference.

The investigator, David Marshburn, contacted police about the body and officers met him and Glass at the scene. 

Marshburn reportedly said that he was hired by the boy’s father to investigate. The PI told police he arrived in Wichita from Smithfield, North Carolina, this week, Ramsay said.

Pressed as to how he was able to locate the body so quickly when police have been searching unsuccessfully for months, Ramsay would only say that police are bound by “very strict rules” which  do not apply to private citizens.

Marshburn, who owns Marshburn’s Investigation Agency, told reporters that he was driving back to North Carolina and that he spent less than 11 hours with Glass before finding the body.

Police have to consider a suspect’s constitutional rights — such as reading them their Miranda rights against self-incrimination — as well as 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.”

Marshburn also declined to talk about Glass’ reaction at the scene for fear of jeopardizing the prosecution’s case. He also refused to say whether Glass had told him what happened to the boy.

He reportedly said that it took him and Ward about 4 hours to actually find the body after they got to the general area, and had to work off clues rather than go right to it. They then drove around with Glass as they talked and looked, he said.

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. “We had to do it step-by-step.”

Glass was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of felony obstruction of justice, but no charges are expected to be filed this week.

Glass reported that Lucas went missing from their home on Feb. 17. Glass told Officers that 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 stated she is a person of interest in the case.

The boy’s father, Jonathan Hernandez, was reportedly not at home when Lucas disappeared. Glass took care of 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.

Glass was found not guilty in May in an unrelated case which accused her of child endangerment involving her 1-year-old daughter. Prosecutors alleged that she smoked marijuana before driving the child to a restaurant.

Lucas was reported missing the day after that trip.

A court document related to that case said that Lucas was frequently seen with bruises and cuts before he disappeared.

 The Sedgwick County juvenile court document says that the state of Kansas was told at least twice that Lucas was being abused and was living in a dysfunctional and violent situation.

Terribly sad. 

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