Redwood City mom killed by boyfriend; daughter injured while defending her

Neighbors and friends grieved the loss of a Redwood City mother who was stabbed and killed over the weekend by creating a memorial in her honor. 

Authorities said the suspect is Yesenia Lopez Hernandez's former partner and that her 17-year-old daughter was injured while she defended her mother early Sunday morning. 

Suspect Jose Uriarte Martinez is being held at the San Mateo County in Redwood City with no bail.

"Just terrified to know that there's somebody who lives right in front of us, the house, can commit such a horrible crime," said neighbor Elizabeth Ruiz.  

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said she was a victim of domestic violence and that Hernandez and Martinez have a 5-year-old son together.

The DA said suspect Martinez lived next door to Hernandez and entered her apartment with a key and used a kitchen knife to stab her in the chest, neck and shoulder multiple times.

"When she told him she was going to move out of Redwood City to another city in our county and take the 5-year- old with them, he got angry," said Wagstaffe.   

The DA said the suspect also stabbed Hernandez's daughter when she tried to defend her mother while his young son was in another room. 

Hernandez died. Her daughter, seen in pictures on her mother's Facebook page, survived. 


Deadly Redwood City stabbing leaves injured teen girl, brother without mom

A deadly Redwood City stabbing left a teen girl and her younger brother without their mom.

Wagstaffe said the suspect was on felony probation after being convicted of a domestic violence-related charge involving Hernandez last year. 

The DA said the 44-year-old was just released in March and was under a court order for 10 years to stay away from Hernandez. 

An order, Wagstaffe said both Martinez and Hernandez disregarded repeatedly. 

He urged victims of domestic violence to ask for help.    

"She was a hardworking mother. Worked really hard.  They would go to church together. She didn't deserve what happened," said neighbor and friend Patricia Mendez who spoke with a KTVU crew in Spanish with the help of an interpreter.

Mendez and other neighbors said they had no idea there was violence in the relationship.

"They never thought this could happen," said Mendez,"They would call the police, or they would do something about it."  

The DA said Martinez apologized to his young son after killing his mother and that he was arrested while walking outside the home with blood on him. 

Neighbors said the young son would often play with children in the area, and they're shaken by the violence that has left Yesenia's children without their mother. .

Neighbors planned to raise money to help Yesenia's children by selling pupusas Sunday morning in front of their homes. 

There is also a GoFundMe to help the family.

Martinez has pleaded not guilty to all charges including murder and attempted murder.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU.