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Woman accused of killing husband in DeSoto captured 7 years later

She was extradited to Dallas County after she was found last month trying to cross the border into the U.S.
Credit: Dallas County jail

Updated at 1:36 p.m. with additional information from police records. 

A woman wanted on a murder charge in connection with the death of her husband seven years ago was extradited to Dallas County after she was captured last month in California, the district attorney’s office announced Monday.

Maria Montalvo, 48, had been on the run in connection with the April 2013 slaying until she was caught on May 19 trying to cross the border into the U.S. in San Diego, according to the Dallas County District Attorney’s office.

She was flagged by a U.S Custom and Border Protection agent and taken into custody after confirming her identity.

Maria was escorted back to Texas by Dallas County Sheriff’s deputies. She is currently booked in the Dallas County jail and is held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Maria is facing a charge for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for murder and a charge for murder. 

She is accused of killing her husband, 43-year-old Simon Montalvo at their DeSoto home while their two children slept upstairs, the district attorney's office said.

'Odor of decay' in backyard

Simon Montalvo was last seen on April 21, 2013, with his son at the Whataburger at 4120 S. Collins St. in Arlington, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The couple and the two children were reported missing by a relative of Simon on April 28, 2013.

At about 10:30 p.m. on May 4, 2013, a relative of Simon called police about finding a body after he went to the Montalvo home in the 1400 block of Hubert Drive. He went to the house to install security cameras because someone had been feeding the dog and he wanted to see who it was, the arrest warrant affidavit said.

The relative told police he found a body in the backyard that he believed was Simon because Maria allegedly had a history of violence towards him, the arrest warrant affidavit said.

The officers who arrived at the scene jumped the fence and could "immediately detect the odor of decay consistent with a dead body," the affidavit said. They found a pile of rocks against the fence that appeared to have a large black plastic bag underneath the rocks that was shaped like a body, the affidavit said.

The relative told officers that Maria, Simon and the children were missing for two weeks.

When he came to install the camera, he could smell the strong odor and found the rock pile. He moved rocks, touched the bag and felt a human hand, the affidavit said.

Simon had multiple gunshot wounds, including two to the back of the head, the district attorney's office said. 

'Three claps' during the night 

The two children were located with family in Anderson, Ind., where they had been dropped off by their mother before she fled, the affidavit said. 

Detectives with the Anderson Police Department interviewed the older child and said he told them that his parents were arguing that night. He and his brother went to bed and during the night they heard three "claps" that woke up the children and scared them, the affidavit said.

"He asked his mom what the loud noise was during the night. She told him a cabinet turned over," the affidavit said. "He didn't believe her. He said 'how does a cabinet falling make three noises?'"

He never saw his dad that morning or since then, the affidavit said. He assumed he was at work and his mom told him that day that they had to go to Indiana.

The Dallas Sheriff's Department physical evidence unit processed the crime scene and found evidence consistent with the older child's statements. Three bullet holes were found inside the master bedroom of the house and there was evidence of large amounts of blood from the master bedroom and hallway areas, the affidavit said.

“Our agency has never stopped looking for Montalvo and now that she is in jail where she belongs, we can pursue justice for the victim and his family,” said DeSoto police Chief Joe Costa.

”Criminals will never get away with heinous crimes like this in Dallas County. My office, and our partners in law enforcement, will track them down to face prosecution,” said Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot in a written statement.

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