ST. CLOUD, Fla. (FOX 35 Orlando) - The estranged husband of a missing Florida woman and his father have been named as persons of interest in her disappearance, according to a spokesman with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.
Remains believed to be those of a human were found on Friday in the search for Nicole Montalvo. Montalvo was reported missing on Wednesday but was last seen on Monday when she dropped off her son with the child's father, Christopher Otero-Rivera, around 5 p.m. Deputies on Friday were searching the property of a St. Cloud home on Hixon Ave. belonging to Otero-Rivera's parents.
Otero-Rivera and his father, Angel Luis Rivera, were both arrested on Friday afternoon on unrelated charges as authorities are now saying they are an integral part of the investigation into Montalvo's disappearance.
"Christopher Otero-Rivera has been arrested for violation of probation and the father, Angel Luis Rivera, has been arrested on charges related to being a registered felon," explained Major Jacob Ruiz with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office. "They are persons of interest, based on the discovery at the scene."
The medical examiner was called to the home on the 3900 block of Hixon Ave. but it is not immediately known whether the remains found are those of a man or of a woman.
“We don’t know if it’s male or female at this point, but the Medical Examiner’s Office will be helping us from this point forward to make those identifications,” said Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson. "The weather’s been a bit of a hindrance for us, but we’re working diligently through that and we want to continue to do so.”
According to deputies, Montalvo was supposed to pick up her son from Harmony Community School on Tuesday afternoon, but she never showed up, and her cellphone has been turned off ever since.
"We believe she has disappeared under suspicious circumstances," said Major Ruiz during a news conference on Thursday. "She disappeared out of the blue on Monday night, with no trace or any communication with anybody. She didn’t come the next day to pick up her son. That’s completely out of character for her."
The Osceola County Sheriff's Office first received word of Montalvo's disappearance on Wednesday, when deputies began searching for her. Part of that investigation has included a closer examination of the Hixon Ave. property.
Deputies said Otero-Rivera was arrested last year, accused of robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault involving Montalvo. Authorities said there is a history of domestic violence between the two. According to court documents, just two weeks ago, Montalvo wrote a judge requesting that an order of protection be dropped.
Montalvo and Otero-Rivera filed for divorce on Feb. 4, 2019, are still not legally divorced, according to authorities.
Friends and relatives hope the missing mother is located. Karen Decamillo described Montalvo as "super sweet" and an attentive mom.
"They had a super-close connection. They absolutely adored each other," said Decamillo, who has known Nicole and her son for years. "It’s just heartbreaking. It’s so sad, so sad."