Posted on June 3, 2011

Woman Accused of Sawing Up Ex-Boyfriend’s Body, Hiding Head and Arms in Flower Pots

Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2011

It began with a foul-smelling trash can Carmen Montenegro was wheeling down an Ontario street.

She reportedly abandoned it a block from her cousin’s home Sunday afternoon when neighbors reported seeing a woman trying to dispose of the bin’s suspicious contents.

Inside the 30-gallon container, police officers said they discovered the dismembered body of a man, minus the arms and head.

Investigators said they later determined the body of Montenegro’s former boyfriend [Samuel Wiggins Jr., 63] had been sawed into pieces, with the head placed in a flower pot and the arms in another.

The flower pots were filled with potting soil and taken to a relative’s home in Bell Gardens around Mother’s Day, said David Hidalgo, a San Bernardino County supervising deputy district attorney.

Hidalgo said Montenegro buried the other remains in the backyard of her cousin’s Ontario home, but the arms and head were taken farther away because they could be used to identify the victim.

Investigators said something must have spooked Montenegro, prompting her attempt to move the body on Sunday. Ontario neighbors, who called police Sunday, had noticed someone busily gardening at the Holmes Avenue property during the previous weeks.


Investigators say Montenegro’s two adult children helped her dispose of Wiggins’ body. Daniel Ortiz, 25, and Chanel Ortiz, 26, were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of being accessories to murder. {snip}

[Editor’s Note: The story of how Carmen Montenegro was caught can be read here.]