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Woman likely OD'd; 3 face corpse desecration charges

Published November 7, 2012 3:05 pm

Body found under leaves • Victim, three suspects had drug abuse histories.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Allegations ranging from desecration of a corpse to possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia have put three people behind bars in connection with the discovery of a west Salt Lake City woman's body earlier this week.

The dead woman, identified as Eva Montanez, 45, was found by a passerby under a layer of leaves Monday afternoon near 800 West and Emeril Avenue (30 North).

Three neighbors — men ages 45 and 55, and a woman, also 55 — were arrested after questioning. The three allegedly told investigators that Montanez had died from a drug overdose inside a nearby house, and that they had panicked, dragging her body through the kitchen and out the back door, where they left it behind a shed along a nearby fence line.

The three — all with extensive drug-related criminal histories — remained in Salt Lake County Jail Wednesday, held on suspicion of third-degree felony corpse desecration and second-degree felony drug possession, and class B misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and theft by deception charges.

Probable cause statements claim that when the woman suspect was arrested, officers found a syringe filled with a dark substance believed to be heroin.

While an official cause of death awaits an autopsy and toxicology results, detectives said that Montanez's body showed no signs of trauma.

remims@sltrib.com