Body of missing man found in Mendota Heights on Thanksgiving

Joseph Hernandez

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner announced the body of an adult male was found in Mendota Heights on Thursday, Nov. 24, and identified as Joseph Hernandez, 35, of Mendota Heights.

The press release lists the time of death as 2 p.m. Nov. 24; Hernandez was reported missing on Nov. 7. He was last seen around Oct. 24 visiting a friend at the Mendota Heights Motel on Highway 13. 

During the afternoon of Nov. 24, Mendota Heights police were summoned to the area of Delaware Avenue and Dodge Lane near Dodge Nature Preserve on a report of a dead body.

Upon arrival, officers spoke with the individual who reported seeing a body in a marshy area south of Highway 110. 

Detectives from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Dakota County Sheriff office and Mendota Heights Police Department are investigating.

At press time, no cause of death had been announced.

According to police reports, family members became concerned when they had not heard from Hernandez for a couple weeks, and his car was still parked at the motel. 

Mendota Heights police and trained canines joined the family in several searches of the area around the motel in mid-November, but they found no traces of the missing man

A funeral mass was held on Thursday, Dec. 1, at Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Paul. Hernandez is survived by his mother, Linda, and daughter, Alicia Hernandez.

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