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Cause of death released for Watsonville murder victim, search continues for suspect

cesar hernandez
Watsonville Police
Cesar Hernandez

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION) UPDATE: The cause of death for 24-year-old Brenda Becerra has been released by the Coroner's Office.

It was determined to be "blunt force head injuries and mechanical asphyxia."

The search continues for her husband who is the suspect, 47-year-old Cesar Hernandez.


47-year-old Watsonville resident Cesar Hernandez is the primary suspect in the murder of his 24-year-old wife. Police are still looking for Hernandez who they consider armed and dangerous.

Watsonville Police investigators believe Hernandez killed his wife in their home on the 700 block of Rodriguez St.

Authorities have not released the identity of Hernandez's wife, but neighbors confirm with KION the victim is Brenda Becerra.

The couple has two young children that police say are safe with family members. A verified GoFundMe is set up for the family. In the post, it says "Her kids were her world!"

The victim's family reported her missing at about 3:00 a.m. Thursday. Hernandez dropped off the couple's children at a family members home around 2:00 a.m., according to police.

“We’re not aware of any criminal history or officers responding to the couples home,” spokesperson for Watsonville Police Michelle Pulido said.

He suspiciously disappeared, and then about 10 hours later police found his wife dead in the couples car on Mission drive near Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz.

That car is the only one owned by the family, which adds more questions about how he fled.

“If the families car was found in Santa Cruz, what is the suspect driving? Is he in a car? Did he take a bus? That’s something we’re looking into," Pulido said.

The suspect is 5'9" and weighs approximately 180 pounds.

“If anyone has the smallest bit of information call us, because it could make a difference,” Pulido said.

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Drew Andre

Drew Andre is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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