Killer hides in woman's SE Houston home before ‘bloody, violent attack,' police say

Police look for victim's stolen pickup

By Cathy Hernandez - Reporter, Lea Wilson - Digital News Editor, Stephanie Cano - Digital News Editor

HOUSTON - A woman was found dead in a home in southeast Houston in what appeared to be a violent attack, police said.

Family found Zuleika Hernandez, 23, Sunday in the bathroom of her home in the 6600 block of Sherwood after they said they had not heard from her in two to three days.

Hernandez's sister was emotional saying she knew something was wrong when her dogs were loose in the neighborhood. 

"She would never leave her animals outside, especially crying. So I thought something isn't right, something isn't right." Hernandez's sister, Hernandez sister said. 

Police said Hernandez was last seen Friday driving up to her home in a black SUV. Witnesses told police they saw a white truck parked on the south end of the home. They said Hernandez was seen trying to get her dogs back in the yard before going inside. Investigators said she died between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Friday afternoon.

"When she pulled up, she saw that (her dogs) of course, got out, called the dogs. The dogs followed her lead and she took them back inside," HPD Homicide unit Detective  Fil Waters said.

They said Hernandez's murderer was hiding inside the home and ambushed her.

"Someone is lying in wait for her and when she walked inside, they did what they did and took the white truck to make good their escape," Waters said.

How her attacker killed Hernandez is unclear. But police said there was a fight between them - with blood in three different rooms.

The back door of the home was left open and the gate was locked after the killer left in her husband's truck. 

The truck is described as a white Ford F-350 with a Texas license plate CYR-9260. It has a decal on the tailgate reading, "Antonio Ayala Roofing." They also said there is an El Salvadorian flag on the back windshield with the numbers 503 and it has damage on the hood.

 Hernandez's family prays her killer is caught and pays for her death.

"The only thing I ask of God is if somebody did something to her, that they pay," Hernandez's sister said

Police said there is a history of family violence with her husband and he went to jail recently. However, he's in the custody of immigration and police say he is not a suspect.

Anyone with information about Hernandez's death or the pickup truck is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page

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