Body found in car ID'd as man sought in hammer attack on ex-fiancee and her mother in Glendale

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- A decomposing body found trapped inside of a car in the Angeles National Forest last month has been identified as a 28-year-old man accused of attacking his fiance and her mother with a hammer in Glendale, authorities said.

Suspect Brian Cruz had been on the loose after the July 19 attack which resulted in the hospitalization of both victims. His body was found Sept. 27 off of Angeles Forest Highway and Big Tujunga Canyon, according to the Glendale Police Department.

Investigators say he tried to kill his 25-year-old fiancee and her mother early that morning, hitting both of them in the head with a hammer. The woman suffered bone fractures to her face and skull and had to have a finger amputated. She remains in physical therapy due to the extent of her injuries, police said.

The mother of Cruz's fiancee was also struck in the head with a hammer when she tried to intervene, police say. She was later treated and released from the hospital.

Despite her injuries, the woman was able to call 911.

"The injuries were significant. It was a very violent attack," police Sgt. Ernesto Gaxiola said in an interview at the scene, praising "the toughness of these victims."

"The fact that the victim was able to communicate to our dispatch, based on the injuries sustained, is unbelievable," the sergeant said. "I can't say enough how incredible it is that they were able to give us information. Hopefully we'll find justice for this."

Cruz was said to be driving a black GMC Denali Sierra pickup truck with a black and yellow California license plate, number BCG1129.
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