ORLANDO,Fla. – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has asked Governor Ron DeSantis to reassign the prosecution of a high profile murder case to another state attorney's office, the state's top elected prosecutor confirmed Tuesday.
Moody has expressed concern about a dispute between Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala and Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson over the investigation into the murder of Nicole Montalvo.
Montalvo's dismembered body was found on a property near St. Cloud in Orlando.
Two days later, Gibson arrested Montalvo's husband, Christopher Otero-Rivera, and father-in-law, Angel Rivera, accusing both of murder.
Ayala claims Gibson made the arrests prior to collecting enough evidence for her office to prove the case to a jury.
Under Florida law, criminal defendants can request a jury trial within six months of their arrest.
The state attorney suggested the evidence analyzed so far does not yet reveal who murdered Montalvo and how she died.
Gibson, who has said he feels there is adequate evidence to prosecute, contacted Moody's office earlier this month seeking an outside review of the case.
DeSantis's office has not yet indicated if or when the governor might intervene and reassign the case to a neighboring state attorney.
Montalvo's family is urging witnesses to come forward who might have additional information about the murder.
“Recent events have left us terrified that more attention is now being paid to a ‘public spectacle’ rather than bringing Nicole’s killer to justice,” the family wrote on Facebook. “We are terrified that those responsible for this vicious and disturbing crime will not be held accountable.”