Remains of Irvine Woman Missing Since July Identified

Associated Press

Skeletal remains found early this week in a wooded area southeast of Santa Fe have been identified by dental records as those of an Irvine, Calif., woman reported missing 10 months ago.

Santa Fe County Deputy Sheriff Ben Montano said the Office of Medical Investigator determined Thursday that the remains are those of Roberta Michelle Montoya, who had been visiting in Santa Fe last summer. Montoya would have been 20 Friday.

Police reports said the young woman was spending last summer in Santa Fe with her aunt, Debbie Valdez. The aunt reported her missing to city police on July 30.

The cause of death has not been determined, but Montano said "we're going to investigate this as though it was a homicide."

The remains were found Sunday by a man who was walking his dog.

Dr. Ross Zumwalt of the Office of Medical Investigator in Albuquerque identified the body as that of Montoya from dental records provided by the woman's family in California.

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