The motive for the murder is unknown, but the indictment did point to a history of child and sexual abuse in Montoya’s past. A court ordered in 2005 that he stay away from children after an incident involving the child of one of Montoya’s former girlfriends. Montoya was accused of hanging his former girlfriend’s son from a wall by using a tie.
He was also previously convicted as a juvenile for indecent exposure.
In July 2006
, Neveah was brought to the hospital by her great aunt after she noticed blood in Neveah’s vaginal area.
Doctors found a tear in Neveah’s hymen due to “penetrating trauma,”
according to the court document. The indictment states that prior to the hospital visit, Neveah had most recently been in the care of Montoya.
But when approached by doctors, police and social workers, Gallegos called the incident “not a big thing,”
states the court document.
“I can’t have him go to jail,
” the indictment states Gallegos told a Denver social worker.
“Gallegos never consoled, comforted or held Neveah at the hospital,” the indictment states. “Gallegos showed no concern whatsoever for Neveah.”
Prosecutors refused to file charges in the 2006 case. There was confusion at the time over whether police had recommended charges.
Fisher said police did everything in their power to separate Montoya from Neveah between July 2006 and when she was found dead, stuffed into a garbage bag
on Sept. 24, 2007. Police found Neveah in the Lakewood Dry Gulch ravine, located in the 1100 block of Perry St. Unfortunately, there simply wasn’t enough evidence to make a case stick, which is why charges were never filed in 2006, said Fisher.
Police said Gallegos did not cooperate with them
, which also made the case much more difficult. In September 2007, Gallegos had reported Neveah missing and crafted a story that the toddler was kidnapped. But after confronted by police with contradictory information, Gallegos confessed that the kidnapping story was false, states the indictment.
Prosecutors believe Montoya abused Neveah before murdering her. He was arrested after police found him on the same day Neveah went missing, walking while carrying a duffle bag fitting the description of a bag Gallegos confessed Neveah to be buried in. Neveah was found three days later inside the garbage bag and underneath a tree stump, an old tire and debris,
according to the court document.
Prosecutors believe this time around they have enough evidence to get a conviction, and Morrissey said he will consider the death penalty for Montoya in this case.