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California

Prison for woman who dismembered boyfriend, hiding parts in potted plants

Carmen Montelongo
Carmen Montelongo was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison for stabbing and dismembering her boyfriend.
(San Bernardino County district attorney )

A Riverside woman was sentenced Monday to 26 years to life in prison for stabbing her boyfriend to death, dismembering his body and hiding some of the parts in potted plants.

Carmen Montelongo, 54, was convicted on Aug. 29 of murdering her 62-year-old boyfriend, Samuel Wiggins, who was stabbed twice in the chest and 22 times in the back, according to the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office.

“We are pleased that the jury saw the case for what it was — a heinous crime — and that justice was served for the victim and his family,” county prosecutor Erica Gallegos said.

Montelongo was arrested after Wiggins, of Diamond Bar, was reported missing by family members in April 2011.

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Montelongo, his longtime girlfriend, apparently delayed the investigation by telling police she was in regular contact with Wiggins, all the while living at his home and using his bank accounts, prosecutors said.

It was during that period that investigators believe she dismembered Wiggins’ body, hiding his head and arms in potted plants. She then thoroughly cleaned the crime scene, even removing tile to hide evidence, prosecutors said.

Weeks later, Ontario police spotted Montelongo pushing a trash can containing his body parts along a neighborhood street.

Prosecutors said she buried his badly decomposed legs and torso at the Ontario home.

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For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.


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