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Authorities Identify Possible Motive, Victim In Ontario Trash-Can Murder

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Murder suspect Carmen Montenegro. (credit: CBS)

Murder suspect Carmen Montenegro. (credit: CBS)

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DIAMOND BAR (CBS) — Authorities Thursday said the human remains being wheeled around in a trash can by a woman in Ontario were those of a Diamond Bar man who is her ex-boyfriend.

The San Bernardino County coroner’s office identified the remains as those of Samuel Wiggins Jr., 63, who was last seen by relatives on May 1, Ontario police Sgt. David McBride said.

Authorities also said that the suspect, Carmen Montenegro, could have committed the murder for financial gain. Investigators have surveillance video showing the suspect using credit and ATM cards belonging to Wiggins after he disappeared on April 20, said David Hidalgo, supervisor of the San Bernardino County district attorney’s family violence unit. Montenegro also used Wiggins’ car in the days after his disappearance, he said.

Montenegro also told police that she had been sexually abused and authorities are also considering that as a possible motive, Hidalgo said.

Montenegro, 51, was arrested Sunday after receiving several calls describing a woman who was seen wheeling a trash can containing possible body parts, McBride said. A murder charge was filed against Montenegro on Tuesday, authorities said.

On Wednesday, police arrested Montenegro’s son and daughter, Daniel Ortiz, 25, and Chanel Ortiz, 26, both of Riverside. They were booked as accessories to murder.

During the investigation, investigators searched a residence in Ontario, where detectives believe the remains being wheeled around by Montenegro were buried until Sunday.

Earlier this week, investigators searched Wiggins’ Diamond Bar home in the 23700 block of Meadow Fall Drive, and discovered a crime scene, McBride said.

On Wednesday, detectives searched a residence in the 6000 block of Foster Bridge Road in Bell Gardens, and found additional body parts found buried in two large flower pots that allegedly were brought there by Montenegro and her son, McBride said.

All the remains were determined to be those of Wiggins, McBride said. “The entire body has been recovered,” McBride said.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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