In October, Nicole Montalvo wrote a judge that she had a “lot of trust” in her in-laws. Less than a month later, however, she’d be dead and some of the in-laws she'd once trusted would be behind bars in connection with her slaying.
Montalvo’s estranged husband Christopher Otero-Rivera and her father-in-law Angel Luis Rivera have been charged with first-degree murder after investigators found some of her dismembered remains on the Riveras' property. But now, even more family members are suspected in playing a role in the 33-year-old’s death.
Last week, police arrested Montalvo’s mother-in-law Wanda Rivera, 59, on charges of providing false statements to investigators and tampering with evidence. Now, Montalvo’s brother-in-law, 28-year-old Nicholas Rivera, has been named by authorities as a person of interest in the case, local station WOFL reports.
Nicholas Rivera is expected to appear before a judge Tuesday after being arrested in Georgia on unrelated charges of possessing child pornography. Investigators reportedly found the images on Nicholas Rivera’s cell phone during their investigation into Montalvo’s disappearance, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
Investigators have not said why he's a person of interest in Montalvo’s death.
Montalvo was last seen alive on Oct. 21 while dropping off her 8-year-old son at her in-laws' home in St. Cloud.
Her dismembered remains were later found during a search of the Riveras' property, according to authorities. Additional remains, which have not yet been positively identified as Montalvo’s, were also discovered on another property owned by the family, local station WKMG reports.
Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson called Montalvo's brutal death “probably the most gruesome murder scene that I have seen in my 32 years,” at a press conference Friday.
Investigators are still trying to determine how the 33-year-old died.
Wanda Rivera was arrested Friday on charges that she lied to detectives and tampered with evidence in the case. She posted her $100,000 bond later that same night, according to Spectrum News 13.
Gibson said it's likely other arrests could be made in the case.
“There are others out there, and they know who I am talking to,” Gibson said. “We know who you are. We’re about to show up at your doorstep too.”
Montalvo and her husband, whose relationship had been marred by violence, were going through a divorce when she disappeared.
In October 2018, Otero-Rivera allegedly kidnapped and attacked Montalvo after asking for her help dealing with a dead truck battery, according to an affidavit obtained by Spectrum News 13.
When she arrived, he took her to an isolated road where he attacked and threatened her about messages she'd sent to a friend and for "taking his son," the report said. He also took about $40 from her along with some of her debit cards.
As part of a plea deal, Rivera didn't contest the charges of battery, tampering with a witness and unlawful possession of stolen cards. He was sentenced to probation and nearly a year in jail, but was given credit for time already served.
The judge had also ordered that Otero-Rivera have no contact with Montalvo outside of a parenting app. However, just last month Montalvo wrote the judge in the case to ask that the protection order against her husband be dropped. She said at the time that she had a “lot of trust” in her in-laws.
“[N]o matter what happens they are always there for me and our son,” she wrote.
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