The mother-in-law of murdered 35-year-old Nicole Montalvo in St. Cloud, Florida, has been arrested in connection with her death, deputies said.
Montalvo was last seen alive on Oct. 21 when she dropped her son off at the home where her husband lives with his parents. She was reported missing after she failed to pick her child up from school.
Authorities uncovered her remains at the property days later, and eventually found more remains (likely Montalvo’s) at a nearby property also owned by Montalvo’s in-laws.
Her husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera, 31, and his father Angel Luis Rivera, 63, are charged with first-degree murder. They are being held at the Osceola County Jail.
The couple was in the middle of a divorce. Court records show he had a history of domestic violence against her, according to MyNews13.
Otero-Rivera was arrested for on charges of kidnapping, domestic abuse, and theft after Montalvo accused him of beating her and stealing her credit card and cash.
She told the investigators that her husband and another woman took her to a remote area in October 2018, where Otero-Rivera proceeded to slap her repeatedly for texting a friend. He then pushed her to the ground and threatened to break her neck and kill her if she called the police.
Days before going missing, Montalvo formally requested a judge dismiss the protection order against Otero-Rivera. She wrote that she has a “lot of trust” in her in-laws, saying: “[N]o matter what happens they are always there for me and our son.”
During a news conference held on Friday, Nov. 1, Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson confirmed that Montalvo’s body was dismembered, FOX 13 News reported.
“Probably the most gruesome murder scene that I have seen in my 32 years,” Gibson said.
His mother, Wanda Rivera, 59, has been arrested for tampering with evidence and providing false statements to investigators when questioned, the sheriff said. Her bail has been set at $100,000, deputies said, MyNews13 reported.
Gibson said there will likely be more arrests in this case. “There are others out there, and they know who I am talking to,” Gibson said, addressing them. “We know who you are. We’re about to show up at your doorstep too.”