Father, Son Receive Life Sentences After They ‘Butchered And Discarded’ Young Mother
The two men did not want Nicole Montalvo to have custody of her child, prosecutors say.
A Florida judge has handed down life sentences to a father and son found guilty of second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a human body in connection to the death of a mother nearly two years ago.
“I cannot ignore the brutality of your efforts to cover up that crime, or the pain it brought the family of Nicole Montalvo,” Judge Keith Carsons told the defendants: the victim’s ex-husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera, 33, and his father, Angel Rivera, 66, in an Osceola County court, according to Orlando television station WESH.
On October 21, 2019, Montalvo, 33, dropped her and Otero-Rivera’s 9-year-old son, Elijah, off at the Rivera family’s home in St. Cloud and vanished. Six days after Montalvo went missing, investigators located her dismembered and burned remains buried on the property, Tampa’s WFLA-TV reported.
“Immediately upon discovering flesh, the fleshy material, a foul odor was present,” Osceola County Sheriff's Office forensics investigator Emily Seda testified at trial.
Before Otero-Rivera and Rivera’s July 21 sentencing, several of Montalvo’s loved ones delivered impact statements. The victim’s sister, Christina Montalvo, told the court her grief is “an intense and deep pain that comes and goes,” WESH reported.
“Sometimes it feels like the grieving process is never ending, especially when it's an unexpected and traumatizing loss of your only sister,” she continued. “When people ask me what happened to Nicole, I've always said she passed away from an act of domestic violence.”
Steven Montalvo, who reportedly searched hours for his older sister the day she disappeared, said in court that she “should be here today” and he felt a sense of “terror and a loss for words.”
“She’ll never get to express the pain she feels, the pain that she felt, what she went through, everything that she had to endure, she should be the one speaking today,” he shared.
The murder victim’s twin brother, Edward Montalvo, said his sibling was “butchered and discarded, like she never mattered.”
Judge Carsons sentenced the father and son to life in prison for second-degree murder as well as another 15 years for dismembering a human body, and another five for tampering with evidence.
WESH reported the pair plan to appeal their sentences, citing statements from their attorneys.