Body found in submerged vehicle ID'd as missing Texas woman

The body recovered from a vehicle submerged in a Houston-area lake Tuesday has been identified as Erica Hernandez, a mother of three who had been missing for more than three weeks, police said.

Police in Pearland, where the vehicle was found, said Wednesday it was notified by the Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office that the remains have been identified as those of Hernandez, 40.

The investigation into her death is active and ongoing, police said in a statement. A cause was not released. Officials are awaiting conclusions in a medical examiner's report, NBC affiliate KPRC reported.

Hernandez was last seen April 17 in the southwest part of Houston driving her 2020 Black GMC Acadia, police there have said.

The vehicle and recovered from the man-made lake, and there was evidence that it hit a curb before entering the water, Houston police Commander Kevin Deese said Tuesday.

"We do believe on or about the night that Ms. Hernandez went missing, it's likely the vehicle was in, went in the water," Deese said. Pearland neighbors Houston to the south.

The lake, which is between 8 and 15 feet deep is surrounded by homes, and there is a road that approaches it and intersects with a loop surrounding the body of water.

Hernandez' family has said that she was at her best friend's house until around 2:30 a.m. the last day she was seen, NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston reported.

She left the friend's house and was in contact with the friend on her ride home. When the friend asked her how far she was from home, she said five minutes, according to the family.

Deese said that police went to the area Tuesday "based on information that we gathered along with our partners over at the FBI," but he did not go into details. He did not say that there was any person of interest in the case.