Body of Long-Missing Kansas Boy, 5, Likely Found Under Bridge — and Stepmom Who Reported Disappearance Is Arrested

KC Baker

A Kansas woman has been arrested after police found a body under a bridge believed to be that of her 5-year-old stepson, whom she had reported missing in February, multiple outlets report.

On Thursday night, hours after the body was found, police arrested Emily Glass, 27, of Wichita, the stepmother of Lucas Hernandez, and charged her with one count of interfering with a law enforcement officer and obstruction, local station KAKE reports.

Officers who found the body under a bridge in rural Harvey County called it “unidentifiable” because it was so badly decomposed, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Mark Bennett said that Glass was in the area hours before, the New York Times reports.

Glass led private investigator David Marshburn, who specializes in finding missing persons, to the area, Marshburn told KAKE in an interview.

While Glass has not been charged directly in the boy’s disappearance, the district attorney has called her a person of interest in the case, the Times reports.

Emily Glass, 27

Authorities have not yet identified the body. But Lucas’ maternal grandmother, Robin Taylor, told KAKE that the body is that of her grandson.

An autopsy will be conducted Friday to officially identify the body, according to Police Chief Gordon Ramsay, KWCH reports.

Lucas Hernandez, 5

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After Lucas was reported missing on Feb. 17, relatives and neighbors came forward saying they believed he was abused, according to ABC News.

In February, shortly after Lucas went missing, Glass was arrested on child endangerment charges related to her 1-year-old daughter, ABC News reports. She was acquitted of those charges in May.

Lucas’ father, Jonathan Hernandez, was arrested May 10 in an unrelated battery case, ABC News reports. That case is still pending.

On the day Lucas was reported missing, Glass told police she last saw the boy in his bedroom at about 3 p.m. before she took a shower and fell asleep, police said at the time. She said that when she woke up, he was gone.

After he was declared missing, the FBI and local authorities spent weeks searching for the boy.

At the time, Lucas’s elementary school teacher wrote an emotional post on her Facebook page, writing, “Please pray for the safe return of the 5-year old that went missing.”

“He is one of my students and a very sweet little boy. Please pray for him and his family. My heart is so heavy right now.”