Woman likely OD’d; 3 face corpse desecration charges
Body found under leaves • Victim, three suspects had drug abuse histories.
Published: November 7, 2012 03:05PM
Updated: November 7, 2012 11:24PM

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.