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Friday
Jun032011

Man Found in Trash Can Likely Died of Multiple Stab Wounds

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ONTARIO, Calif.) -- Investigators now say a Southern California man whose body parts were found in a trash can and two large flower pots may have died of multiple stab wounds.

Carmen Montenegro, 51, is being charged with first-degree murder and held on $1 million bail for murdering her boyfriend, Samuel Wiggins Jr. She pleaded not guilty.

Ontario, Calif., police spokesman Jeff Crittenden said he's been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and has never seen anything like this before.

"From burying the body to recovering it and walking away with it, you just don't hear things like that," he told ABCNews.com.

Montenegro's lawyer, public defender Rebecca Taft, did not return calls requesting comment.

The murder case that now spans three counties began May 29 when several neighbors called police after seeing Montenegro wheel a trash can down a street in Ontario that appeared to contain a body.

When police arrived, they confronted Montenegro on the side of the road.

"She looked more stunned than anything, just like not here, somewhere else," neighbor Ricardo Cuevas told KTLA. After police opened the trash can, the neighbors' fears were confirmed. Cuevas said, "I felt this smell, like a stunning smell. Like, oh my goodness!"
 
Police believe the body parts -- a torso and legs -- had been buried at the Ontario residence, then dug up and put in the trash can.

A cousin of Montenegro's, Matthew Bell, told the San Bernardino newspaper The Sun that he saw Montengero put the body parts in the trash can, and he said she offered him $5,000 to help get rid of the body. Bell then reportedly called police.

During a follow-up investigation police later found two arms and a head at a relative's house in Bell Gardens. The body parts had been concealed in two large flower pots Montenegro and her son had delivered on Mother's Day.

The coroner identified all of the body parts as belonging to Wiggins.

Police say Montenegro killed her boyfriend, 63-year-old Wiggins, in his Diamond Bar home in L.A. County, and then allegedly chopped up his body and buried it. According to San Bernardino County deputy district attorney Erica Gallegos, Montenegro may have hired a day laborer to uncover the body parts.

Wiggins was last seen by relatives May 1, according to police.

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