More evidence linked to body found in river points to murder

By: Alana Greenfogel Email
By: Alana Greenfogel Email

Police say a bloody baseball bat is one piece of evidence that makes them believe a man killed his roommate. Miguel Rivera was found dead, wrapped in a blanket in the St. Joseph River in Elkhart County last Thursday. His roommate, 30-year-old Elex Baltazar is charged with murder and will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.

"They seem like nice, quiet people,” says neighbor Dottie Carroll. “I'm really amazed that it happened."

Police say after two boys swimming in the river discovered Rivera’s body, investigators headed to the house Rivera rented in the 1600 block of East Bowman Street in South Bend. Police found Rivera’s roommate, Elex Baltazar, who told officials he didn’t know what happened to Rivera, but kept changing his story.

Police found a bloody aluminum baseball bat in the basement. They also spotted blood splattered in the living room of the house, as well as in the van officials believe Baltazar used to drive Rivera’s body to Elkhart. They also found Rivera’s cell phone in a pile of ash from an old fired and the rest of his belongings stacked in a corner.

The landlords told police they last saw Rivera on May 11th. They also say Baltazar had recently painted a wall in the living room, but they didn’t know why. In addition, the landlords informed investigators they found a couch cushion in the front yard.

Officials say since Rivera’s body had been decomposing in the water, they aren’t sure how long it had been since he died. The doctor performing the autopsy says it was within three weeks of being found.


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