San Diego

Father says San Diego woman found dead in Tijuana had bank account drained after her death

Leah Hernández's father calls on the Baja California District Attorney's Office to investigate his daughter's death as a homicide. In the meantime, he's taking the investigation into his own hands

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Family and friends on Wednesday mourned the loss of Leah Hernández, 22, who was found dead on July 15 in a hotel in Tijuana, leaving loved ones with questions that have yet to be answered.

Uncles, tias, nieces, brothers, friends filled Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Barrio Logan Wednesday for Hernández's funeral but among tears was also confusion about what happened to the young girl.

Leah Hernández's body was found on July 15 naked at the San Ysidro Hotel in Tijuana after a night out with two friends. Mexico prosecutors this week said authorities determined her death was an involuntary manslaughter. Her family, though, is certain she was murdered.

"Her daddy couldn’t protect her and I promise to do anything to bring her justice," Javier Hernández said.

According to Baja California's District Attorney Ricardo Iván Carpio Sánchez, Leah Hernández's body did not show signs of violence and there were traces of controlled substances in her body, like methamphetamine, which caused her to choke to death.

Javier Hernández, though, said his daughter's body was found naked, without belongings, and with bruises on her face. The official statement does not address the questions he still has.

"How did she end up in that hotel?" he said. "Who was there? Where is her clothing? Where are her possessions, belongings?" the father asked.

He also questions if someone would want to harm Leah Hernández because she was gay.

"I am asking the LGBTQ community, get involved and boycott going down to Mexico," Javier Hernández said. "So they can open an investigation and find out what really happened to my little girl."

According to the two friends who were out with Leah Hernández that night, the 22-year-old simply went missing. Javier Hernández has been tracing his daughter's last steps and says part of the truth is on Leah’s bank statements, which he obtained a few days ago.

"After my daughter’s murder, they stole all her money from her account," Hernández said. "They used her ATM card and obviously a pin and it was done out of [a gas station], which was literally a block away from where my daughter was found murdered."

This father says his fight will not stop. In the coming weeks, he aims to obtain his daughter's phone records to learn more about the last hours of Leah Hernández's life.

The U.S. State Department says it is closely monitoring the investigation into Leah Hernández's death but referred NBC 7 to the government of Mexico for information about the investigation.

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