‘Justice was served:’ Former Osceola County sheriff reacts to verdict in Nicole Montalvo murder trial

Lead detective in case was ‘emotional’ hearing verdict read

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Former Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson, who oversaw the Nicole Montalvo investigation, said justice was served in the case, when the verdict was read Wednesday.

Lead detective in the case, Cole Miller, called it a very emotional moment.

Miller is a detective in the homicide and violent crimes unit with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and said he’s worked closely with the family over the last year and a half.

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He said he hugged Montalvo’s mother, Elaine, when the verdict was read.

“We were very happy, it was very emotional, you know, both of us were very, very emotional,” Miller said.

He told News 6 it was a difficult investigation to work given the nature of the case, but added that they did so to see Wednesday’s verdict.

Gibson was also emotional as he described the moment he heard the verdict read.

“I cheered, I mean, I wept. This was the right thing and I knew that justice was served in this case,” Gibson said.

Gibson said it touched his heart when the family thanked him and his deputies.

“I have a connection with this family, they’re great people, and they suffered such a tremendous loss. They lost a sister, a child lost his mother, a mother and father lost their baby,” Gibson said.

He told News 6 when he heard the verdict was in after about 90 minutes of deliberating, he said he knew it was a guilty verdict for the two men charged in her death.

Angel Rivera and his son, Christopher Otera-Rivera, were both found guilty of second-degree murder, abuse of a dead human body and tampering with physical evidence in the 2019 death of Montalvo, Otero-Rivera’s estranged wife.

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