ONTARIO, Calif. – A woman was charged with murder Tuesday, days after a man's body parts were found in a foul-smelling trash can she was spotted pushing down the street.
Carmen Montenegro, 51, of San Bernardino, was arrested Sunday after police discovered the body parts in the barrel she was pushing and what appeared to be bodily fluids at a nearby house, authorities said.
Authorities have not yet identified the man, how he died, when he died, where he died or the relationship between him and Montenegro. Investigators were withholding information about which body parts were in the trash can, a 30-gallon plastic container, and which ones are missing, Ontario police Sgt. Jeff Crittenden said.
But he said investigators were looking into the whereabouts of one of Montenegro's former boyfriends who has not been seen since May 1 and was reported missing by his family.
Investigators spent Monday excavating property around a house that is owned by one of Montenegro's family members, Crittenden said.
Montenegro, who listed her occupation as a clerk on police documents, has apparently lived on and off over the years in the house, which is about 200 yards from where she was pushing the can, he said.
A hole was found in the backyard and what may have been body fluids were detected, but Crittenden would not say if a grave or additional body parts were found.
Neighbors started calling around 3 p.m. Sunday.
Crittenden said he had heard reports that Montenegro asked some neighbors for help disposing of the body, but the only statements he had seen from witnesses who called 911 were from people who had been alerted by the smell.
He said no other suspect was being sought but added: "We can't eliminate other people. We have to figure out the identity of the victim and figure out what kind of relationship the suspect had to the victim."
Police don't think there are other victims, the detective said. "It looks like an isolated incident, but we are still looking," Crittenden said.
The San Bernardino County coroner's office said the man's name would be released after he was identified and his family was notified.
Ontario is in San Bernardino County, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles.
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