ST. CLOUD, Fla. – Osceola County Sheriff's Office teams are searching a property in St. Cloud after a woman who failed to pick up her son from school was reported missing and her car was found abandoned miles from where she was last seen.
Deputies said Thursday that Nicole Montalvo was last seen around 5 p.m. Monday when she dropped off her 8-year-old son with his father and grandparents at their home on Hixon Avenue in St. Cloud.
Montalvo, a white woman with black hair, was last seen wearing blue jeans and a gray shirt.
Montalvo was supposed to pick up her son at Harmony School on Tuesday, but she never showed up, according to deputies.
Officials said Montalvo's cellphone has been turned off and she hasn't had a "trace of communication with anybody" since Monday, according to Osceola County sheriff's Maj. Jacob Ruiz.
Ruiz said Montalvo's disappearance is 100% out of character for her, and investigators are concerned about her well-being.
Ruiz said investigators are talking to anyone who had a relationship with her, including her estranged husband, who lives at the property where she was last seen. Ruiz said they have a history of domestic violence.
Montalvo's estranged husband is not cooperating with the investigators, but he is not in custody, according to Ruiz.
Ruiz said Montalvo's disappearance is suspicious and deputies were at the grandparents' home gathering evidence beginning Wednesday evening. The 5-acre property includes a pond, several structures and an RV.
"We will not leave any stone unturned," Ruiz said.
Montalvo's car was found abandoned on Big Sky Boulevard about 8 miles from where she was last seen, according to the Sheriff's Office. Crime scene technicians were searching the vehicle for evidence.
Update from Osceola County Sheriff’s Office on missing mother Nicole Montalvo. Here's the latest: https://bit.ly/349Zy83Posted by News 6 WKMG / ClickOrlando on Thursday, October 24, 2019
Investigators are asking to speak with anyone who had contact with Montalvo in the last week.
Ruiz also said that a rumor about a body being found on Hixon Avenue is not true. He said decomposed remains were found Wednesday on U.S. 192 near a homeless camp, but the case is not believed to be connected to Montalvo's disappearance.
A large law enforcement presence was searching around the 3921 Hixon Ave. home all day Thursday. Crime scene investigators were seen walking behind a detached garage on the property with shovels.
Piles of dirt could be seen near the home where Montalvo was last seen dropping off her son Monday.
Neighbor Gary Paul lives near the Hixon Avenue home and said he has seen people digging using a bulldozer on the property. He mentioned that when detectives were casing the area.
"They do quite a bite of garbage burning, which isn't too unusual in this area, but like I said, the bulldozer was something that was definitely out of place," Paul said. "I've seen plenty of backhoes, but a bulldozer?"
Paul said he hasn't had much contact with Montalvo's estranged husband calling him a "questionable character."
"It definitely reeks," he said. "The entire thing is fishy."
.@OsceolaSheriff let us closer to the house. Nicole Montalvo was last seen Monday dropping her son off here. She hasn’t been seen since & deputies say her disappearance is suspicious. @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/1Xv5YqxihW— Amanda Castro (@AmandaNews6) October 24, 2019
Montalvo's brother, Steven Montalvo, posted a message on Facebook, saying: "Our family is in constant contact with the authorities and working closely with them to try (to) find her and ensure her safety. This is our only concern at this stage."
Meanwhile, neighbors on the normally quiet street are hoping the mother is found safe.
"From what I've been told, she is a very responsible mother, and this, her neglecting her kids in any sort of way, is highly out of character, let alone just leaving them at school," Paul said. "That in and of itself should be a massive red flag that something is amiss."
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at 407-348-2222.
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