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

June 2, 2011 | 10:21 am

From left Carmen Montenegro, her son Daniel Ortiz and daughter Chanel Ortiz.

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Authorities have arrested a son and daughter of a woman who faces murder charges after she was allegedly trying to dispose of body parts she was wheeling around in a trash bin in an Ontario neighborhood.

Daniel Ortiz, 25, and Chanel Alicia Ortiz, 26, both of Riverside, were charged as accessories to murder after their arrests Wednesday night.

They were in custody Thursday in the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on a $250,000 warrant, according to Ontario police.

Their mother, Carmen Montenegro, 51, has been charged with murder and is being held in lieu of $1-million bail pending a hearing scheduled for Thursday.

The dismembered victim has been identified as 63-year-old Samuel Wiggins Jr. of Diamond Bar, a relatively recent boyfriend of Montenegro's.

On Sunday, officers took Montenegro into custody after reports that she was rolling the trash bin along Holmes Avenue looking for a place to dump body parts and was even seeking help from relatives in doing so.

Detectives believed her children were too accommodating, which is why they are in custody.

Body parts have now been found at two locations, the second being a rental property in the 6700 block of Foster Bridge Road in Bell Gardens.

Daniel Ortiz allegedly dropped off two planters at the property on Mother’s Day. Each allegedly contained body parts.

“We haven’t determined why they were there,” said Ontario Police Sgt. David McBride. “This was a property they were associated with.”

Montenegro has been reported as a resident of San Bernardino but there’s evidence she also was staying in Riverside, police said.

Investigators believe the homicide occurred at Wiggins’ home. The body parts in the bin did not include fingers, so a Wiggins family member contributed a DNA sample to help identify the body.

All of Wiggins' body parts have since been recovered, investigators said, and blood was found on the floor of Wiggins' Diamond Bar house.

Montenegro had put in a new carpet to replace one she removed, which investigators believe was probably bloody. They found a piece of the replacement carpet at a home associated with Montenegro.

Wiggins was last seen by his relatives around May 1.

Wiggins' sister-in-law said he met Montenegro online about a year ago and the two had lived together on and off. She described him as a "veteran, a loner, but a great and generous guy."

An autopsy is pending in hopes of determining an exact cause of death.

The motive may have been financial. According to a relative, Wiggins' money market accounts were cleaned out recently.

[For the record, 10:57 a.m.: A previous version of this post incorrectly gave Montenegro's children the the last name of Ortega, and incorrectly gave Chanel Oritz's age as 25.]


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Photo: From left Carmen Montenegro, her son Daniel Ortiz and daughter Chanel Ortiz. Credit: Ontario Police Department.