Man pleads not guilty to killing missing South Bend woman

(WISH Photo, file)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A 24-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to accusations that he killed a South Bend woman who was reported missing in April.

Alberto Cruz was charged with murder last week in the death of 22-year-old Alma Del Real. He entered his preliminary plea at an arraignment Tuesday.

Authorities say Del Real’s body was found May 20 in a remote area near Culver, about 40 miles south of South Bend.

Prosecutors accuse Cruz of strangling Del Real after giving her a ride home in the early morning of April 12. Police say he later confessed to killing her, and court documents say he led police to her body.

A message seeking comment was sent to an attorney listed as representing Cruz. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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