ONTARIO – A San Bernardino woman was arrested on suspicion of murder Sunday after she was found pushing a trash container containing human remains down an Ontario street, police said.
Carmen Montenegro, 51, was taken into police custody. She is being held at the West Valley Detention Center on suspicion of murder, said Ontario police Det. Jeff Crittenden.
Investigators spent much of Monday searching a home in the 700 block of Holmes Avenue for additional evidence, he said. Police had not determined whether the unidentified male was killed at the house or was brought there.
Ontario police were called to the area of H Street and Holmes Avenue about 2:45 p.m. Sunday after several people called 911 to report a woman pushing a trash container that appeared to contain human remains. Upon confirming the contents were human remains, investigators were led to the Holmes Avenue house, where Montenegro once lived, Crittenden said.
“It’s hard to determine a motive (for the apparent slaying),” said Crittenden, “ since we don’t know what kind of relationship the victim and the suspect had, because we don’t know who the victim is right now.”
Montenegro was arrested at 3:15 p.m. Sunday. She listed her occupation as housekeeping.
Her relatives have owned a single-story home along that street for about 15 years, Crittenden said, and she has moved in and out of there periodically during that time, though her booking records show that she lives in Sans Bernardino.
Signs of digging were found in the backyard, and investigators have recovered material in the dug-up area from which they’ll try to extract DNA, he said.
Officers spotted Montenegro about two blocks from the house after several 911 callers told police that the trash barrel appeared to contain human remains.
“We don’t know where she was going with the remains,” Crittenden said.
Police canvassed the neighborhood, checked vacant houses and looked for other trash containers. “It’s still up in the air where the murder happened,” Crittenden confirmed.
He said detectives are preparing to serve search warrants to answer that question and to look for possible murder weapons and tools that could have been used to cut up the body.
Crittenden would not disclose the injuries the victim suffered or even say whether they’ve recovered the head. The remains have been transferred to the county coroner for further analysis. The race and age of the remains are not known, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Al Parra at (909) 395-2752.