Joseph Michael Hernandez was last seen at a Mendota Heights motel on November 11, 2016, and since that time, investigators have worked diligently with his family to attempt to locate him. It was learned he left the motel on foot after arguing with a friend. Sadly, the focus of the investigation changed when his body was recovered on Nov. 24, about three miles from where he was last seen. Enormous effort has been put forth into determining the circumstances involving Mr. Hernandez’s death.
The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office was immediately asked to assist the Mendota Heights Police Department with the investigation into Mr. Hernandez’s whereabouts. Detectives from both jurisdictions conducted numerous interviews, reviewed surveillance video, executed search warrants, drafted subpoenas, and processed available physical evidence as part of the investigation.
Results of the investigation by detectives and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office has led to the probable conclusion that Mr. Hernandez died from exposure to the cold and rainy weather, and that acute methamphetamine toxicity was also a factor in his death.
Sincere condolences are extended to Mr. Hernandez’s family and friends.