Courtesy: Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office/Shadycrest Elementary

In March of 2019, Christina Foos found her mother, 52-year-old Belinda Hernandez, dead from multiple gunshot wounds in her home in Houston, Texas. Later that day, police arrested Foos’ father, 56-year-old Hilario Hernandez, for the murder of his wife Belinda. Mr. Hernandez had fled to a town on the Texas-Mexico border.

On June 25th, Hilario Hernandez was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 2019 murder of his wife, Belinda Hernandez.

Foos, who is an adult, had a feeling something was wrong when her mother didn’t respond to her text the night before. When Foos called her parents’ home, her father, Hilario Hernandez, answered the phone. He told Foos that her mother was “fine” before quickly hanging up the phone. But Foos knew something wasn’t right. It was then that she drove to her parents’ home and found her mother dead in the kitchen. A gun was on the kitchen counter and shell casings were on the floor. Her father was gone.

Police tracked Hernandez down at the border town of Kingsville, Texas. In a cruel twist of fate, Hilario Hernandez was a police sergeant who had been with the Houston Police Department for over 30 years. Foos told police that she had been with her parents the night before–they spent the night drinking with a family friend. Hilario Hernandez accused his wife of flirting with another man. The next time Foos saw her mother, she was dead.

Hilario and Belinda Hernandez had been married for over 30 years and shared two children together. Now, their daughter says she is grieving both for the death of her mother and for the loss of the father she thought she knew.

“It’s definitely been a long two years,” Foos told local news channel KTRK. “A devastating situation for my brother and myself. Essentially, that day, we lost both our parents.” But Foos does not want to dwell on the violent way her mother lost her life.

Foos faced her father (who she now calls “Larry”) in court. It appears she gave a victim impact statement. “Mainly, what I made the focus about was her and her legacy,” she said. “I made that known in the speech that it is no longer about him and it’s completely about her.”

Before her death, Belinda Hernandez was a beloved member of her community. Hernandez was a school librarian with a passion for reading.

“She had a passion for education,” said Belinda’s former supervisor, Sonia Serrano. Serrano also described Hernandez as being a “life-long learner” who “loved books.” “She loved providing instructions to students no matter what her role was,” said Serrano. “She took every opportunity available to teach kids life lessons.”

Belinda Hernandez’s murder further proves that jealousy and toxic machismo are not harmless personality traits–they are deadly. We hope the adult children of Belinda and Hilario Hernandez find peace. May they find the strength to fully grieve the tragedy that has befallen them.