Authorities Release Death Investigation Details

The man believed responsible for the disappearance and death of a South Bend woman whose body was found near Culver on Wednesday has been formally charged with murder. Investigators say Alberto Cruz, 24, has been a suspect in the disappearance of Alma Del Real, 22, since she was first reported missing last month.

Court documents indicate Cruz and Del Real were friends and went to a couple of South Bend night clubs the night before her disappearance. Cruz initially told investigators he dropped Del Real off at home around 3:30 a.m. on April 12th and went home to bed. Authorities say Cruz later confessed to strangling her inside the residence after the two had an argument. He’s accused of changing his story several times before offering to lead investigators to a remote area near Culver Military Academy where he allegedly dumped Del Real’s body a few hours after her death.

Court records indicate it was so badly decomposed investigators had to use dental records to make a positive identification. Cruz is jailed without bond in St. Joseph County.