Alberto Cruz charged with murder in death of Alma Del Real

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

(Photo supplied)

Alberto Cruz has been formally charged with murder in connection with the death of Alma Del Real.

The charges were filed Friday, May 22, according to online court records. He is being held at the St. Joseph County Jail without bond, according to a news release from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.

Cruz led authorities to Del Real’s body in Marshall County on Wednesday, May 20, and confessed to killing her, according to court documents.

Scroll to the bottom of the story to read the full probable cause affidavit

After Del Real was reported missing, investigators quickly realized Cruz was the last person to see Del Real. The two were friends and went out to Brothers Bar and Grill and Studio Rumba 305 on Saturday night, April 11, where they met up with some other friends, according to court documents.

In initial interviews with police, Cruz said he took Del Real to her home at about 3 a.m. Sunday, April 12. He told police that he watched her go inside before driving away and said he hadn’t seen her since.

Investigators questioned Cruz again after the South Bend Police Department obtained phone records for Del Real and Cruz. Del Real’s phone was traced outside the area of her home after 3 a.m., showing she likely wasn’t home when Cruz said he dropped her off.

Cruz initially told police he went straight home after he dropped Del Real off, but the records show his phone was activated at about 6:45 a.m. April 12 in Marshall County.

When police questioned Cruz about the phone records Wednesday, Cruz maintained his initial statements at first but then told police a variety of stories, saying Del Real was kidnapped by members of a gang for a Mexican drug cartel.

Cruz eventually told police that he knew where Del Real’s body was and led them to it, according to court records.

After her body was found, Cruz confessed to killing her, according to the affidavit. He told police that the two got into an argument while inside her home on April 12. He told police he pushed her down, and though he believed she was dead, he strangled her, the affidavit states.

The condition of the body appeared to be consistent with Cruz’s confession, according to the affidavit. A forensic pathologist used dental records to make a positive identification.

In Indiana, murder can be punished by a sentence of 45 to 65 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, according to Indiana sentencing guidelines.

Probable Cause Affidavit – Alberto Cruz