A Glendale man who was wanted in connection with a brutal hammer attack against his fiancee and her mother was found dead in an Angeles National Forest crash in September, police said Tuesday.
The badly decomposed remains of Brian Cruz, 29, were found in a vehicle off Angeles Forest Highway and Big Tujunga Road on Sept. 27, Glendale Police Sgt. Dan Suttles said.
Aerial video from Sky5 showed the vehicle on its side down a steep embankment on Sept. 26.
Though the vehicle involved in the crash belonged to Cruz, police at the time could not confirm that he had died in the crash. Suttles said the suspect was positively identified as Cruz by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office on Monday.
Though the exact manner of death is unclear, Suttles said Cruz died as a result of the crash. There were no signs of gunshot wounds, but Cruz may have committed suicide.
Cruz allegedly attacked his fiancee and her mother in their Glendale apartment on July 19.
The fiancee, who was not identified, suffered bone fractures to her face and skull as well as multiple broken bones to her hands. In addition, one of her fingers had to be amputated. She went on to have multiple reconstructive surgeries and is undergoing physical therapy. Suttles said she continues to recover and is in “good spirits.”
Her mother was hit in the head during the attack when she tried to intervene, police said. She was released from the hospital shortly after the attack.
The motive behind the “extreme” attack remains unclear, Suttles said.
Cruz fled in a black GMC Sierra Denali pickup truck and had been missing since then.
Suttles said investigators believe Cruz’s body had been in the area where it was found since the day of the initial crime.
The fiancee was made aware that Cruz was found dead, said Suttles.