Disappeared but not forgotten; Texas Cold Cases
DESOTO – It is an eight-year-old murder case that while not technically cold, the DeSoto Police had been waiting on a lucky break in order to bring the suspect to trial.
So when the Border Patrol agents on the border of Mexico and California contacted the DeSoto Police Department to let them know they had murder suspect Maria Leonor Montalvo, 48, in custody, they knew the day they had been waiting for since 2013 had finally come.
Montalvo had a warrant out for her arrest for the murder of her husband, Simon Diaz Montalvo.
Maria had left the couple’s children in Indiana and then fled the country. She was indicted on the murder charge in absentia in June 2013.
Missing Person April 2013
Montalvo had originally been reported as a missing person on April 29.
Police had been called to the residence that day when a family member contacted them regarding his disappearance. They said they found no evidence of foul play when they went to the home in late April.
However, a few days later on May 4, Desoto Police made a gruesome discovery when they arrived at the residence in the 1400 block of Hubert Drive where the Montalvo family had lived.
They found Simon’s body buried in a shallow grave in the back yard of the home. Rocks had been placed over the location where he was buried.
What the detective at the scene said at the time was “someone trying to make the rocks look like landscaping.”
Maria was caught in a video by the home security cameras hauling heavy rocks in the backyard. Those rocks were to cover the body in a black bag that had also been caught on the same video surveillance cameras that she was dragging off screen. According to reports she had also sanitized the area.
It was her husband’s brother Juan Montalvo who called police after he and other family members had arrived at the home on May 4 ton install a camera. He followed the foul smell of the decaying body into the backyard when he made discovered the body.
Montalvo is Awaiting Trial
Police found Montalvo’s body had six gunshot wounds, primarily to his torso and two to the back of his head. The medical examiner’s office cited the gunshot wounds as the cause of death.
Police got their lucky break in apprehending Montalvo last May when she had been trying to move to another part of Mexico and the Uber she was in accidentally entered the US at the border near Tijuana. Her name was looked up to enter the United States and they discovered she had a murder warrant so she was arrested by Border Patrol and sent back to DeSoto.
Maria Montalvo has been back in Dallas County in the Dallas County Jail since May 19, 2020. She is currently awaiting trial and the trial date has not been set, according to DeSoto Lieutenant Heath Penwarden, Criminal Investigation Division, Commander SRRG-SRT.