Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Woman who wheeled body parts down Ontario street hid head and arms in flower pots, prosecutor says

June 2, 2011 |  3:54 pm

Carmen Montenegro, Daniel Ortiz and Chanel Alicia Ortiz.

A woman charged with killing her ex-boyfriend after wheeling body parts down an Ontario street hid his head and arms in two large flower pots that she delivered to a relative’s home in Bell Gardens, a prosecutor said Friday.

Carmen Montenegro of Riverside appeared briefly in a Rancho Cucamonga courtroom Thursday. She is charged in the death of Samuel Wiggins, 63, of Diamond Bar.

Montenegro was arrested Sunday after she exhumed body parts she allegedly buried in a cousin’s backyard in Ontario and tried to dump them in a bin outside a nearby house.

But watchful neighbors alerted authorities, who discovered the body minus head and arms.

Wiggins’ family reported him missing May 1 to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. But neighbors told authorities Montenegro was seen going to and from his Diamond Bar home after he disappeared.

David Hidalgo, a San Bernardino County supervising deputy district attorney, described Montenegro on Thursday as a callous killer.

“The body was sawed into pieces after she killed him,” he said. “She put the head in one flower pot and arms in another flower pot, filled with potting soil and then delivered them to a relative’s home in Bell Gardens,” Hildalgo said. “It was around Mother’s Day. She told them she was going to take the pots to Santa Barbara later.”

Investigators found signs of struggle at Wiggins' Diamond Bar home. A carpet had been replaced, and blood was found under the new carpet. Hidalgo said the carpet torn out of the Diamond Bar home was recovered at a Riverside home where Montenegro had been living.

“We're testing it, but we believe it will show the Diamond Bar home is where the murder occurred,” Hidalgo said.

He added that investigators now believe Montenegro’s true name is Montelongo. She listed her age as 44 on several occasions, although authorities initially said she was 51.

Her adult son and daughter, Daniel Ortiz and Chanel Alicia Ortiz, have been charged, accused of helping their mother dispose of the body.

Hidalgo said an autopsy was conducted Thursday on Wiggins and results were pending.


Son and daughter of woman who wheeled around body parts in Ontario are arrested

-- Richard Winton

Photo: Carmen Montenegro, Daniel Ortiz and Chanel Alicia Ortiz. Credit: Ontario Police Department