Victim’s mother testifies in murder trial for 2 men accused in Nicole Montalvo’s slaying

Christopher Otero-Rivera and his father, Angel Rivera, are accused of killing, dismembering woman

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The trial of two men accused in the 2019 murder and dismembering of Nicole Montalvo continued Friday with more witness testimony.

Christopher Otero-Rivera and his father, Angel Rivera, are charged with second-degree murder for the killing of Otero-Rivera’s estranged wife in Osceola County.

Montalvo, 33, was reported missing in October 2019 after she failed to pick up her 8-year-old son from school. Her dismembered remains were later found buried on property owned by the Riveras. Otero-Rivera and Montalvo had a son together, but they were separated at the time of her death.

Testimony started back up Friday morning and continued in the afternoon with testimony from Montalvo’s mother. She described an incident a year prior to Montalvo’s death where deputies say her estranged husband and his girlfriend attacked and beat her.

The responding deputy who spoke to Montalvo also took the stand.

Jurors on Thursday heard from a forensic DNA analyst and forensic technicians with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, who walked the jury through the moments they found Montalvo’s body.

After a jury was seated earlier this week, opening statements and testimony began Tuesday.

Crystal Bunn, Montalvo’s son’s teacher, said during witness testimony that the boy’s grandfather, Angel Rivera, picked him up the day she missed a school meeting. Bunn said in court Angel Rivera had his own suspicions for her disappearance.

[Related coverage: Father, son stand trial in slaying, dismemberment of Nicole Montalvo]

“That he wasn’t sure where she was. He had felt like she was having interactions with other men, that she could be out with one of them, that she hasn’t been home in a while,” she said.

The Riveras are being represented by two separate attorneys, with the defense for Otero-Rivera pointing the finger at their client’s father during opening statements Tuesday.

“He was unquestionably the boss of the Rivera family,” a defense attorney said. “He controlled things. He manipulated things.”

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.