In a podcast airing on the Nancy Grace crime show Monday, the father of 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez said he never knew Emily Glass to hit or mistreat his son.
Asked whether Glass struck him as a “good mom,” Jonathan Hernandez answered, “She did, and she helped me raise Lucas.”
When Grace asked Hernandez whether he ever knew Glass to abuse his son Lucas, he replied, “No, I did not. … She was always good with him.”
That description of Glass that Hernandez gave is at odds with a detailed court document previously reported in the Eagle. The document, filed by a prosecutor on Feb. 23, said Glass had been suspected of causing bruises on Lucas beginning almost a year before she reported him missing on Feb. 17.
A spokeswoman for Hernandez, Misty Cox, said Monday afternoon that he wouldn’t comment beyond what he told Grace.
Hernandez also told Grace that Glass recently told a private investigator that she panicked after she found Lucas dead in his bed one evening or morning. Glass, 27, has been described as a live-in girlfriend of Hernandez's who cared for his son while he was working out of town. Police have referred to her as Lucas’ stepmother.
Hernandez said that for him, it is still difficult to process the fact that Glass took his son’s body to a remote bridge and left it underneath for more than three months before leading the private investigator to the remains on May 24.
The interview aired three days after the spokeswoman for Lucas’ parents asked for privacy while they mourn. Cox said Monday afternoon that Hernandez agreed to the Grace interview before he asked for privacy and that he felt he had to go through with the Grace interview.
The court document that describes the injuries on Lucas in the months before he disappeared was filed a few days after Glass reported him missing from their south Wichita home. The document said Glass had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, has difficulty controlling her anger and has experimented with methamphetamine and heroin. It said she was thought to be targeting Lucas because of her anger with the boy's father.
In May 2017, the Kansas state child protection agency received the first of two reports of suspected abuse involving Lucas. Glass was suspected, the document said. “It was reported that when asked about his bruises, all Lucas would say is that (Glass) 'doesn’t like me any more,'" it said. The Department for Children and Families investigated, “determined that there was not enough evidence to support the allegation. DCF closed the case.”
Then in late October 2017, it said, while Glass and Lucas visited Hernandez in New Mexico, Lucas had two black eyes. It was reported to New Mexico’s child protection services agency on Nov. 8, 2017. DCF contacted the New Mexico agency, which provided its report, saying it had investigated and determined the allegations were unfounded. The report was not assigned for more review.
In Monday’s podcast, Hernandez said he never thought Glass would have known the whole time where Lucas' remains were hidden. “It’s not an easy thing to be able to process.”
Police arrested Glass on suspicion of interference with law enforcement and obstruction after she led the private investigator to the bridge in rural Harvey County. She was released from jail after prosecutors declined to file charges while the investigation continues.
Hernandez said he is “a bit confused by” her getting out of jail, because she knew of the body’s location and didn’t divulge it for so long.
Police haven’t told him anything, Hernandez said. But he said a friend pointed out that prosecutors might be avoiding charging her until they get more evidence.
When Grace asked Hernandez what had attracted him to Glass, he said she’s “a very attractive girl, we had a lot of the same interests.” He said getting to know her was effortless.
The podcast included part of a recording captured by private investigator David Marshburn in which Glass said in a shaky voice, “I did Lucas so wrong. I did him wrong.”
Hernandez said he didn’t know why the body was left at the Harvey County site. He noted that it is “very remote … maybe that’s why she picked that location.”
He said his son had been vomiting for a few weeks, went to the doctor and got a prescription.
Less than a month before Lucas was reported missing, his school nurse counted nine bruises and said it looked like the pre-kindergartner had been in a fight. Glass said he fell off monkey bars, and Lucas returned to school with a note from a pediatric nurse practitioner saying his injuries were consistent with a fall. He last attended school on Feb. 9 — eight days before he was reported missing.