Details of Disappearance
Montiero was last seen at her apartment in the 1800 block of 7th Avenue in the New York City borough of Manhattan on April 2, 2000. At approximately 7:00 p.m. the night before, she was speaking on the phone with a friend when her live-in boyfriend, Heriberto "Eddie" Palacio, was overheard screaming and swearing at her in the background.
Montiero has never been heard from again. Her boyfriend said he last saw her on April 2 when she went to a hairdresser's appointment, but the police found out she never visited a hairdresser that day. In fact, no one besides Palacio claims to have seen Montiero after April 1.
He never reported her missing; her brother did, on April 7. Palacio said he didn't approach the police about her disappearance because she had an order of protection against him and he feared he would be arrested.
Montiero left her clothes and beeper behind in her apartment. On April 2, the same day Palacio claims he last saw her, Montiero's wallet, identification and credit cards were found at a pay phone at a Mobil gas station next to the Grand Central Parkway near LaGuardia Airport, opposite the Delta Airlines terminal.
The gas station attendant who found the wallet didn't report his discovery for several days because he assumed the owner would return for it. Authorities believe whoever placed the wallet at the gas station did so in an attempt to mislead the investigation.
Palacio was arrested on an unrelated weapons charge in late April 2000 and authorities questioned him regarding Montiero's disappearance. He had a violent past; at age fourteen, he and an accomplice beat a man to death. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served two years in prison. In 1999, he was charged with attacking a female tenant in his apartment building, where he was superintendent; the outcome of that case is unknown.
Montiero's relationship with Palacio had always been troubled. She reportedly loved Palacio deeply, but in the two years that they were together she filed eleven domestic violence complaints against him and he filed four such complaints against her. She repeatedly bailed him out of jail after his arrests. They have a daughter together, who was a year old when Montiero vanished.
Montiero worked as an accounting clerk at the time of her disappearance and was studying accounting at Manhattan Community College. Her case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.