The Lake County Coroner’s Office has determined a Wheatfield woman found dead in a Hobart motel room last week was strangled to death. A suspect had been taken into in custody, but no charges had been announced as of Tuesday.
April Lynn Salazar-Bernal, 38, of 14846 Heritage Dr., was reported missing just before 10 p.m. on March 13. A family member told Jasper County investigators Salazar-Bernal had been heard from earlier in the day, and investigators were initially not suspecting foul play since her new Dodge Dart was missing along with her, and believed she may be in the Merrillville or possibly Gary area.
On March 15, however, Hobart police reported that an anonymous tip led to the discovery of her car in Calumet Township. Just after 3 p.m. that day, Salazar-Bernal’s body was found in a room at the Key West Inn, 855 Mississippi St., Hobart. On March 19, Lake County Chief Deputy Coroner Scott Sefton announced Salazar-Bernal’s death a homicide, with the cause of death asphyxiation caused by manual strangulation. Reports stated that Hobart police had taken a person of interest into custody last week, but no arrests had been announced as of Tuesday following Sefton’s investigation and determination.