Boyfriend of missing Romoland woman identified as possible suspect

Katherine Neitzke disappeared in 2019. Her boyfriend is suspected of killing her. Photo provided by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The boyfriend of missing Romoland resident Katherine Mary Neitzke, 33, was identified as a possible suspect in her homicide.

Family members reported Neitzke missing in 2019. During the course of the investigation of her disappearance, Perris Station investigators uncovered evidence that led them to believe Neitzke was the victim of a homicide, authorities said.

In June 2021, the Central Homicide Unit assumed the investigation and determined Neitzke’s boyfriend, Hugo Leonel Hernandez, 44, murdered Nietzke and disposed of her body at an unknown location near Highway 74 (Ortega Hwy), according to Sergeant Steve Brosche.

In January 2022, investigators located Hernandez in Oceanside, San Diego. He was arrested on January 26 and booked into the Cois Byrd Detention Center for murder.

Hugo Hernandez is suspected of killing Katherine Neitzke and disposing her body near the Ortega Highway. Photo provided by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Hernandez is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, according to jail records. His arraignment is set for February 17. 

This is an active investigation and anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Investigator Gilbert of the Central Homicide Unit at 951-955-2777.


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