Vigil planned for slain St. Cloud woman; estranged husband held without bail

Father-in-law charged with premeditated murder, hospitalized

As family and friends prepare to remember a St. Cloud woman killed last week with a vigil to honor domestic abuse victims, her estranged husband was denied bail on premeditated murder charges.

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – As family and friends prepare to remember a St. Cloud woman killed last week with a vigil to honor domestic abuse victims, her estranged husband was denied bail on premeditated murder charges.

Nicole Montalvo, 33, was last seen around 5 p.m. Oct. 21 when she dropped off her 8-year-old son with his father and grandparents at their home on Hixon Avenue in St. Cloud, Osceola County Sheriff's Office officials said.

Montalvo was reported missing after failing to pick up her son from school.

After three days of searching her in-laws' property, crime scene investigators found remains later confirmed to be that of the 33-year-old mother.

Nicole Montalvo.

Montalvo's estranged husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera, 31, and his father, Angel Luis Rivera, 63, were charged Sunday with premeditated murder in Montalvo's death.

According to court records, Otero-Rivera has a history of domestic violence-related charges involving his estranged wife dating back to 2016. Those records include a 2018 charge of kidnapping, battery and aggravated assault.

Montalvo filed for divorce in February but the divorce was not finalized, court records show.

The father and son were arrested Friday at Day Zee Inn on Carolina Avenue in St. Cloud on unrelated charges, according to the charging affidavit.

Officials haven't released information about how Montalvo was killed. The sheriff said there was probable cause to press charges.

[STORY: Court records show history of domestic abuse before St. Cloud woman's slaying]

Otero-Rivera appeared before an Osceola County judge Monday afternoon on premeditated murder charges. He was represented by a public defender and ordered held without bail.

His next court appearance is Nov. 5.

Christopher Otero-Rivera, 31, appears before an Osceola County judge on Monday Oct. 28, 2019. (Image: Osceola County Jail)

Luis Rivera will not appear before a judge on first-degree murder charges Monday because he was hospitalized over the weekend, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Officials declined to provide information on Luis Rivera's condition due to federal health privacy laws.

On Sunday, Sheriff Russ Gibson said more arrests could be coming.

 "We are going to get everyone involved in this case. Everyone," Gibson said. "Whatever role you played, no matter how small or insignificant it may be, your world is closing in on you."

Montalvo's twin brother, Edward Montalvo, said the family is planning a vigil for his sister Monday at the St. Cloud Lakefront at 7 p.m. Participants are asked to wear black or purple in remembrance of Montalvo and those affected by domestic abuse.

October 27, 2019: A "missing" poster for Nicole Montalvo, 33, and a sign on the door of Broadway Pizza. The slain mother was a server at the restaurant.

"All are invited to attend," Edward Montalvo said in a message. "We are asking any persons who have shared any memories with my twin to bring their stories and share their experiences with a community that has been touched by her liveliness. "​​​

Nicole Montalvo worked at several area businesses including Broadway Pizza and Outback Steakhouse. 

A sign on the Broadway Pizza front door said the establishment was closed Sunday "In remembrance of our server Nicole Montalvo," next to a missing person's flyer with her photo.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of Nicole. The happiness and joy she brought to work every day will be greatly missed," a statement from Outback Steakhouse read. "Our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with her family and friends, including her coworkers at Outback Steakhouse.”

Stay with News 6 and on the investigation and the vigil later Monday.

About the Authors:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.