NCSO identifies bodies found near Boca |

NCSO identifies bodies found near Boca

Authorities identified the two bodies found near Boca Reservoir last week as those of a Pacifica, Calif. couple, but many questions remain, including the cause and circumstances of the woman’s death.

Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal announced Friday that the bodies were those of 48-year-old Don Hernandez and 40-year-old Debra Jean May-Hernandez.

Hernandez, who was found in the front seat of the vehicle, apparently died from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. May-Hernandez’s body was found in the rear of the vehicle, tightly wrapped in bedding, according to NCSO reports.

“Preliminary autopsy results did not indicate a cause of death for her,” NCSO Lt. David Baxley said Tuesday. “We’re waiting for toxicology and other tests to come back to determine it.”

Authorities traced the bedding in which the woman’s body was wrapped to the Pacifica hotel where the couple had been living, Baxley said.

He said there were traces of blood in the hotel room, and authorities think May-Hernandez probably died in Pacifica.

“There was a struggle in Pacifica,” Baxley said. “There’s a high possibility that she died in Pacifica and was driven up here.”

He said Hernandez had receipts from a Verdi casino on his person dated Jan. 16 and Jan 24.

A motorist near the Boca shooting range discovered the bodies in a red 1984 Subaru on Feb. 1, authorities reported.

The area beneath the couple’s vehicle at Boca was clear of snow, indicating to investigators that the death of the driver occurred at least four or five days before the vehicle was discovered. Snow on the sides of the vehicle was about two feet deep.

The NCSO investigation is still investigating circumstances leading up to the deaths of the two victims.

Information sought

The Sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information regarding the activities of the two victims prior to Feb. 1, to please call (530) 265-1471.

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