National News

Mar 19, 2013 5:36 PM by NBC News

Mother and four children disappeared during trip from Texas to Michigan

(WOOD) A Texas woman moving back home to West Michigan to live with family never showed up, prompting her family to fear the worst.

Katrina Hernandez -- originally from Martin, Mich. but recently of Dallas -- is traveling with her four children. She was supposed to arrive in Kalamazoo on March 7, but no one has heard from her since March 5.

Police in the Dallas area are now investigating her disappearance as a missing persons case.

For 13 days, Hernandez's brother, Kenneth Gordon of Kalamazoo, has been waiting for her and her four children to show up. He's worried that something awful may have happened.

"I'm hoping and praying for the best, but I'm fearing the worst," he said.

Gordon last spoke to the 28-year-old Hernandez via cellphone as she traveled along I-20 from Dallas to Fort Worth, Texas. She had been on and off the line with Gordon as she argued with her boyfriend via phone.

With $4,800 in cash and her four children in tow, she was headed to purchase a car she found on Craigslist.

"It raised a very big red flag with me. I don't think anyone should buy a car or buy anything off Craigslist," Gordon said.

Since that conversation, Gordon's calls to his sister have gone straight to her voicemail.

Detectives in Dallas have looked into the Craigslist connection, but have found nothing thus far. They also checked out her boyfriend and cleared him of any wrongdoing.

"[The detective] said that he doesn't have any reason to suspect him because he's being too volunteering with his information," said Gordon.

Hernandez has an ex-husband living in Mexico. Police talked to him, too, and found no border information indicating she may be going there.

Her kids were on spring break, but Gordon has said an impromptu vacation is unlikely because Hernandez was so excited to get back to Michigan, and by now the children should be back in school.

"It's not like her to disappear like this," said Gordon. "She would have called."

And he wishes police would do more.

"I really think there should be an Amber Alert. We have four missing kids here, if nothing else," said Gordon.

But there's one more possibility: Along with her children, Hernandez was traveling with an unknown friend. Gordon simply doesn't know whether the friend had something to do with Hernandez's disappearance.

"Bring my little sister home, that's all I want," said Gordon. "At least let me know she's safe."

Hernandez had planned to stop in Oklahoma to visit other family first, but never showed up there, either.

Gordon has called hospitals, thinking perhaps a car crash waylaid his sister. He has also had flyers posted in Texas and on Facebook.

But so far, there has been no sign of Hernandez.

When Gordon last spoke to Hernandez, she was driving a maroon 2001 Ford Expedition with license plate D187X064.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Dallas Police Department at 214.671.4243 or 1.877.373.TIPS, Gordon at 269.271.5867, or Jennifer Greer at 972.834.0066.

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