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Suspect in missing mom's death admitted to violating injunction, deputies say

Ammunition found in Gatorade bottle at home where remains were located

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Days before a St. Cloud mother went missing and was later found dead, her estranged husband violated a domestic violence injunction, according to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.

On Tuesday, deputies released documents pertaining to the case of Nicole Montalvo, whose remains were found Friday at the home where her estranged husband, 31-year-old Christopher Otero-Rivera, lives with his parents on Hixon Avenue in St. Cloud.

Otero-Rivera and his father, Angel Luis Rivera, 63, are both facing murder charges.

Records show that during the investigation, Otero-Rivera admitted to texting and having phone conversations with Montalvo on Oct. 18, which violated the terms of a domestic violence injunction that had been in place since Oct. 16, 2018.

Before her death, Montalvo accused Otero-Rivera of kidnapping her, dragging her, slapping her, holding a knife to her throat and threatening to kill her, according to legal documents.

Montalvo was last seen alive on Oct. 21 when she dropped her son off at the home where Otero-Rivera lives with his parents, deputies said. She was reported missing after she failed to pick her child up from school. 

Friends and family said her phone was off, she wasn't responding to social media messages and she didn't show up to work, all of which was unusual for Montalvo.

The investigation into Montalvo's disappearance began Oct. 23 and a search warrant was executed shortly thereafter at the home where Otero-Rivera lived, according to authorities.

Records show deputies found a plastic Powerade bottle with 75 rounds of ammunition and three Winchester shotguns inside the home. That was enough to charge Rivera with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, investigators said.

The report said the day Montalvo's remains were found, the Rivera family made multiple visits to their bank. Family members also made comments in the past about how often they leave the country, which deputies said led them to believe that Rivera was a flight risk.

Authorities have not released information about how Montalvo died or what evidence led them to charge both men with first-degree murder. 

Narratives from charging affidavits for Otero-Rivera and Rivera were entirely redacted.

On Wednesday, Rivera appeared before a judge in Osceola County. He's been released from a hospital and is now joining his son in jail.

Detectives could not say why Rivera was in a hospital because of privacy laws.

During Rivera's first appearance, he stood quietly and didn't say much. He was granted no bond for his first-degree murder charge and a $10,000 bond for the charge of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. His next court date has not yet been set. 

Investigators haven't said how Montalvo was killed.  All court documents involving the homicide case have been sealed by a judge. 

Records show Rivera has a criminal past dating back to 1991. He was arrested then for an aggravated assault charge. 

Victims of domestic violence can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, available 24 hours a day, at 1-800-799-7233, or in Central Florida, the Harbor House 24-hour confidential crisis hotline at 407-886-2856.


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